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10 Jan 2024

Ukraine's Zelenskiy sees 'clear signs' of slowdown in Russian defence industry: Reuters

Ukraine's Zelenskiy sees 'clear signs' of slowdown in Russian defence industry: Reuters
Source: Ukrainian Presidential Administration
Originally posted on Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday there were "clear signs of a slowdown" in Russia's defence industry and called for further action to eliminate loopholes in sanctions imposed on Moscow.

Zelenskiy, speaking in his nightly video address, provided no evidence for his assertion on the state of the Russian defence industry. Russian officials have said that production of military equipment has been stepped up.

"There are clear signs of a slowdown in Russia's defence industry," Zelenskiy said. "But for the results of sanctions to be 100%, sanctions loopholes must also be blocked 100%."

Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russian state-owned defence conglomerate Rostec, told President Vladimir Putin last month that production of many fundamental items of equipment had risen significantly over the last two years.

In comments appearing on the Kremlin website, Chemezov said production of small arms and artillery ammunition had increased by a factor of 50, production of light armoured vehicles by five and a half times and tanks sevenfold.

In his remarks, Zelenskiy said a meeting of commanders and ministerial officials had considered supplies of weapons and boosting domestic production. Logistics, he said, "must be speeded up," he said.

"Despite all the problems in the world, our careful, clear approach to every need, to every opportunity, is able to provide the defence forces with everything they need," he said.

And participants discussed air defences - often cited as Ukraine's priority - a day after units destroyed 18 of 51 Russian missiles, a much lower shoot-down rate than normal.

Authorities attributed that figure to the large number of ballistic missiles fired by Russia, more difficult to intercept.

"We analysed separately and in detail the work of our air force, of forces defending our skies," Zelenskiy said. "The results of downing Russian missiles and drones. What we managed to do. And what we need to do."

Zelenskiy said last month that Ukraine intended to produce one million drones in 2024.

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