Ignoring Ukraine setbacks, Putin boasts of Russian weapons prowess


LONDON, Aug. 15 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow was ready to sell advanced weapons to allies worldwide and cooperate in developing military technology, nearly six months after the war in Ukraine in which its military underperformed than expected.

With the Russian leader’s forces beaten back from Ukraine’s two largest cities and making slow progress, at great expense, in the east of the country, the war so far has not proved a convincing showcase for Russia’s arms industry.

But the Kremlin leader, addressing a weapons show outside Moscow, insisted that Russia’s weapons were years ahead of the competition.

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Russia has cherished its strong ties to Latin America, Asia and Africa, “and is ready to offer partners and allies state-of-the-art weapons — from small arms to armored vehicles and artillery, combat aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles,” he said.

“Almost all of them have been used more than once in real combat operations.”

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

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

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

Ukraine has made effective use of US-supplied weapons, especially advanced missile systems from HIMARS, and Russia has taken a series of major blows, including the destruction of an airbase in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula last week.

Nevertheless, Putin said that Russia’s forces and his accomplices in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine were already fulfilling their duties.

“Step by step they are liberating the land of Donbas,” he said.

The speech was part of a pattern of statements since the February 24 invasion, in which Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov have discussed the potential for Russia to work with allies like China, India, Iran and others. to a new international order no longer dominated by the United States.

“I want to emphasize that Russia stands for the broadest comprehensive military-technical development cooperation. Today, in conditions of confidence in the emerging multipolar world, this is particularly important,” Putin said.

“We really appreciate that our country has many like-minded allies and partners on different continents. These are the states that do not succumb to the so-called hegemony, their leaders show a real masculine character and do not bend.”

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Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Andrew Osborn

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Mark Trevelyan

Thomson Reuters

Main writer on Russia and CIS. Worked as a journalist on 7 continents, reporting from 40+ countries, with postings 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 (rusty) German and Polish.

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