Unaware of Ukraine’s setbacks, Putin brags about Russian prowess in weaponry

LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow was ready to sell advanced weapons to its allies around the world and cooperate in the development of military technology, nearly six months after the start of the war in Ukraine, in which his army fared worse than expected.

With the Russian leader’s forces pushed back from Ukraine’s two largest cities and advancing slowly, at great expense, into the east of the country, the war has so far failed to prove a compelling showcase for the industry. of Russian armament.

But the Kremlin chief, addressing an arms exhibition outside Moscow, insisted that Russian weaponry was years ahead of the competition.

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Russia cherishes its close ties with Latin America, Asia and Africa, “and is ready to offer its partners and allies the most modern types of weapons – from small arms to armored vehicles and artillery, fighter jets and unmanned aerial vehicles,” he said.

“Nearly all have been used more than once in actual combat operations.”

He said that Russia could come up with new models and systems – “we are talking about high-precision weapons and robotics, combat systems based on new physical principles.

“Many of them are years or even decades ahead of their foreign counterparts, and in terms of tactical and technical characteristics they are significantly superior to them.”

Western military analysts have suggested that what they say is poor performance by Russian troops and weaponry in Ukraine could make Moscow’s arms exports less attractive to potential buyers, such as India, which has heavily relied on its technology in the past.

Ukraine has made effective use of US-supplied weapons, in particular advanced HIMARS rocket systems, and Russia has taken a series of major blows, including the devastation of an airbase in the Crimean peninsula. annexed by Russia last week.

Nonetheless, Putin said Russia’s forces and its proxies in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine were fulfilling all their tasks.

“Step by step they are liberating the country of Donbass,” he said.

The speech was part of a series of statements since the February 24 invasion in which Putin and Sergei Lavrov, his foreign minister, spoke of Russia’s potential to cooperate with allies such as China, India, Iran and others to build a new international community. order is no longer dominated by the United States.

“I want to emphasize that Russia represents the broadest developmental military-technical cooperation. Today, in conditions of trust in the emerging multipolar world, this is especially important,” Putin said.

“We highly value the fact that our country has many like-minded allies and partners on different continents. These are states that do not succumb to so-called hegemony, their leaders display true male character and do not bend. “

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Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Andrew Osborn

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Marc Trevelian

Thomson Reuters

Editor-in-chief on Russia and the CIS. Has worked as a journalist on 7 continents and has reported in over 40 countries, with assignments in London, Wellington, Brussels, Warsaw, Moscow and Berlin. Covered the breakup of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Security correspondent from 2003 to 2008. Speaks French, Russian and German (rusty) and Polish.

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