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Russia and Ukraine. Bad news. US media pointed to “wrestling”

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The Washington Post reminds that Vladimir Putin approved late last year a record increase in military spending to the equivalent of $115 billionor almost one third of the total annual state budget.

Top Russian officials, including the defense minister Sergei Shoiguhave reported in recent months that they have succeeded quadruple production armored vehicles, five times – supplies of tanks and almost 17 times – production of drones and artillery shells.

Russia. The army uses “creative accounting”

The newspaper notes that these numbers cannot be verifiedand the Russian military uses “creative accounting” to achieve the best possible result.

As assessed by Michael Gjerstad, a war analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Russia may produce up to 330 tanks a year, but actually builds half as many. Despite this, thanks to the use of old resources, it managed to reassemble approximately 1,140 tanks that it estimated to have lost in 2023.

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Experts note that the supply of existing equipment is limited and the challenge is to develop the capacity to build a new one. Pavel Aksenov, a military expert and Russian defense correspondent for the BBC's Russian service, notes that previous attempts to modernize the T-80 tank have not yielded results.

Russia. A drone factory will be built

According to the newspaper, it is also unlikely that Russia will be able to supply the army with the T-14 Armata tank, which debuted at the Victory Day parade in 2015 and stuck in testing phase.

“In early 2023, Russian state media reported that The gun was tested on the front line, which led to speculation that it would soon be delivered to local units. However, last month, the head of Russian defense equipment manufacturer Rostech, Sergei Chemezov, said that the Armata would not be deployed to Ukraine due to the high cost,” we read.

To increase the supply of drones, which are even more important for Russia than tanks in the war against Ukraine, Russia concluded an agreement with Iran for the opening of the Shahed drone factory in Tatarstan and sought to increase production of the Russian Lancet kamikaze drone. “Old shopping centers were transformed into factories producing drones, where production has probably been significantly increased,” IISS expert Fabian Hinz emphasized. “Russia does not have to become the most innovative army in the world. If they manage to create several well-functioning systems such as Lancet and then push through their production, it will be dangerous enough,” the “WP” interlocutor summed up.

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