The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Chief of the General Staff – First Deputy Defence Minister Valery Gerasimov, Deputy Defence Minister Alexei Krivoruchko, Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces Sergei Surovikin, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Nikolai Yevmenov, Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff – Deputy Chief of the General Staff Igor Kostyukov, First Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff Viktor Poznikhir, Head of the 3rd Department of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff Andrei Sterlin. Other officials invited to the meeting included Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, the heads of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Military-Industrial Commission, the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control, and the Rostec Corporation.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today we are beginning the traditional spring series of meetings on the development of our Armed Forces and the defence industry.
We never slacken our attention to these sectors. In particular, during the past few years we have seriously renewed and adjusted our strategic planning documents in the area of defence and military security. This was done not only in light of the current realities, but also with due regard for the nature of potential threats and challenges.
I would like to specifically note that last year all the planned events in the Army and Navy were held in full, including combat training exercises, despite the objective problems caused by the coronavirus epidemic. All objectives were attained on time and without fail, and the combat readiness of military units and forces was maintained at a high level. This was borne out during the inspections in all military districts and the Northern Fleet.
The training standards of the command staff have improved considerably. All commanders of the combined-arms, Air Force and Air Defence units and over 85 percent of commanders of large units and regiments have received battlefield experience in the Syrian Arab Republic and are now using it during manoeuvres, command post exercises and drills, as well as to train the personnel in their units.
The Army and the Navy are being upgraded quickly with weapons and military equipment. For example, the nuclear triad’s capabilities have been seriously strengthened. The Navy’s combat capabilities have been expanded, also by adding ships equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles.
We are completing the state tests of the ship-based Zircon hypersonic missile system.
Over 70 percent of the Aerospace Force’s surface-to-air missile regiments have been re-equipped with the latest S-400 systems. We are successfully completing tests of the S-500 system, due to be delivered to military units soon.
I would also like to note that defence industry enterprises are cooperating very effectively with the Defence Ministry on weapons and equipment deliveries and on maintenance for the equipment’s service life, that is, from development and production to maintenance and repair.
I would like to add that the leading defence enterprise received substantial state support during the pandemic. This support allowed them to maintain their production facilities, keep their promising contracts and, of course, preserve their uniquely skilled personnel.
At the same time, we realise that we must maintain Russia’s Armed Forces in a state of high and permanent combat readiness due to the complicated international situation, potential risks and threats to Russia’s military security, including those in direct proximity to our borders. We will therefore continue to upgrade the structure and composition of the Army and the Navy, to actively equip them with modern weapons, military and special-purpose equipment. We will help expand the potential of defence enterprises and leading engineering bureaus that design and manufacture advanced weapons and equipment.
I would like to draw your attention to the following high-priority tasks.
First, it is necessary to specify the main areas of further strengthening the country’s Armed Forces. I have already said, and I would like to repeat, that all services and branches must develop in a well-balanced and systemic manner, and their personnel must thoroughly heed the current trends we see in the leading military powers’ strategies and tactics.
Second, as before, we must devote the most serious attention to upgrading our strategic nuclear forces as the key factor in ensuring Russia’s stability and security.
As you and everybody else know, the Russian Armed Forces were the first to receive hypersonic weapons, including the unique Avangard intercontinental missile system with its glide vehicle. The Kinzhal airborne missile system has been placed on combat duty and has already completed over 160 patrol missions.
We need to expand Russia’s powerful potential in this area.
And, finally, the third aspect. We have to comprehensively analyse advanced weapons systems and military equipment for the Army and the Navy, select the main systems that will form the basis when drafting the new State Armaments Programme up to 2034. As you know, this work has already begun, and it must be completed in a high-quality manner and on time.
Let’s move on to your reports.