1. Major improvements, including those in the nuclear triad
On December 21, President Vladimir Putin spoke at an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board at the National Defense Management Center where the key areas of Army and Navy development including the Special Military Operation or SMO have been discussed.
The main aim of the Russian geopolitical adversaries has been to “dismember” Russia, Vladimir Putin outlined.
He noted that the military potential and capabilities of almost all major NATO countries are actively used against Russia, and outlined that the respective experience should be studied and taken into account by the Armed Forces and the defense-industrial complex, especially during the SMO. The President expressed confidence that the SMO tasks would undoubtedly be accomplished on all territories of the Russian Federation, including the new territories, and the safe life of all our citizens will be ensured.
The President has emphasized that Russia would continue to maintain and improve combat readiness of the nuclear triad that is the main guarantee of preserving sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country as well as strategic parity and the global balance of power.
Vladimir Putin elaborated that in 2022 the level of modernization in the Strategic Nuclear Forces has already reached over 91 percent.
Russia will continue the development of the hypersonic missile systems that are unique in their characteristics and have no analogues in the world. Russia will continue rearming the Strategic Missile Forces with the modern Avangard system having a hypersonic warhead. In the near future, the Sarmat ICBM will be put on combat duty for the first time. The Yars ICBM will be additionally supplied to the troops. At the beginning of January 2023, the frigate “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov” will enter combat service with the latest version of Zircon sea-based hypersonic missile systems.
The President underscored: “We don't have any restrictions on funding. The country, the Government give everything the Army asks for, everything.” But he pledged that national economy will not be militarized.
Vladimir Putin asked the Ministry of Defense to be attentive to all civilian initiatives, including taking criticism into account and responding to it correctly and in a timely manner.
The President shared Defense Minister’s proposals to enhance military capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces and their structural improvements expressed below.
2. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s report: major points
In his report Army General Sergey Shoigu also noted that currently, the military capabilities and potential of almost all major NATO countries are being actively used against Russia. In his words, in Ukraine, Russian servicemen are being countered by combined Western forces. The U.S. and its allies are pumping the Kiev regime with weapons, training soldiers, providing intelligence, sending advisers and mercenaries, and waging an information and sanctions war against us.
The Ukrainian leadership is resorting to prohibited methods of confrontation, including terrorist attacks and contract murders, and the firing of heavy weapons at civilians. Western countries are trying to ignore all of this, as well as elements of nuclear blackmail, such as the provocations against the Zaporozhye NPP and the so-called ‘dirty nuclear bomb’ scenario.
Russian forces continue to destroy military targets, launch massive high-precision strikes against Ukrainian military command system, military-industrial complex enterprises and related facilities, including energy ones. The chain of supply of foreign weapons is being destroyed and Ukraine's military potential is being crushed. At the same time, all preventive measures are being taken to prevent civilian losses.
As a result, the Ukrainian Armed Forces or AFU suffered significant losses.
A substantial portion of the weapons and equipment available at the beginning of the SMO have been destroyed.
To make up for the losses, the United States and NATO countries have multiplied their military aid to the Kiev regime. Twenty-seven countries have already spent $97 billion on arms supplies to Ukraine, much more than what the Americans abandoned in Afghanistan. There are NATO staff officers, artillerymen and other specialists in the combat zone in Ukraine. More than 500 US and NATO spacecraft operate in the interests of AFU, of which more than 70 are military, the rest are dual-capable space vehicles.
The U.S. and its allies spend a great deal of money on information and psychological pressure on Russia and our allies. Russia has fully understood what the supposedly "free Western press" is all about. Thousands of fakes about the events in Ukraine are published daily on command from Washington, according to the same templates. Hundreds of television agencies, tens of thousands of print media outlets, and media resources on social networks and messengers are working for this.
The total silence of the Western media about the war crimes of the Ukrainian military is the height of cynicism. At the same time, the criminal regime in Kyiv and neo-Nazis are being glorified. The terrorist methods of the AFU are presented as legitimate self-defense or presented as the actions of Russian units. Ukrainian nationalists have taken on the role of barrier troops. Every day we receive data on the shooting of AFU servicemen evading from taking part in combat missions.
Recent partial mobilization totaling 300,000 men in Russia has increased the combat capabilities of the troops and intensified combat operations. Russian troops liberated five times the territory that the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics had occupied before February 24, 2022. There were more than 20,000 men enlisted as volunteers as well.
The amount of funds foreseen in 2022, taking into account the additional supply of weapons and equipment, made it possible to increase the number of basic models sent to the Russian troops by 30%, while the number of ammunition for rocket and artillery armament and aircraft means of destruction by 69 to 109%.
Overall, the Russian Armed Forces have met all the targets set for 2022. Their combat capabilities have grown by more than 13%. The target level of maintaining the country's defense capabilities has been achieved.
Russian Defense Minister outlined some measures to strengthen the security of the Russian Federation.
Increase the conscription age from 18 to 21 and raise the upper age limit to 30 for recruitment into the Russian Armed Forces on a phased basis.
In order to guarantee the military security of the Russian Federation, the strength of the Armed Forces must be increased to 1.5 million servicemen, including those serving under contracts, to 695,000 servicemen.
Given NATO's desire to build up its military capabilities near Russia's borders and expand the Alliance to Finland and Sweden, steps need to be taken to create a corresponding group of forces in North Western part of Russia.
Create two interdomain strategic territorial joined groupings of the Armed Forces – the Moscow and Leningrad Military Districts.
Continue to improve the composition and structure of the branches of the Armed Forces, increasing the responsibility of the major commands for the preparation and use of military groupings and formations.
Form three motorized rifle divisions, including those as part of combined arms formations in the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, as well as an army corps in Karelia.
Seven motorized rifle brigades in the Western, Central and Eastern Military Districts and the Northern Fleet should be transformed into motorized rifle divisions.
Two additional airborne assault divisions should be formed in the Airborne Forces.
For each combined-Armed Forces (Tank) Army, maintain a mixed aviation division and an army aviation brigade, numbering 80-100 combat helicopters.
In addition, to form three directorates in aviation divisions, eight bomber aviation regiments, one fighter aviation regiment, and six brigades of Army aviation.
To create artillery reserves in strategic areas, form five artillery divisions in Military Districts, as well as high-capacity artillery brigades.
In the coastal forces of the Navy there is the need to form five Marines Divisions on the basis of existing Marines brigades.
Written by Vladimir P. Kozin