War in Ukraine: Putin encourages the use of Russian weapons “under real conditions”

The Kremlin chief was speaking on the first day of a week-long international arms fair in Kubinka, Moscow Region.

Vladimir Putin on Monday touted Russian weapons to his foreign allies, saying they had proven themselves on the battlefield amid military intervention in Ukraine.

“We are ready to offer our allies and partners the most modern types of weapons, from infantry weapons to armored vehicles, including artillery, fighter jets or drones,” said the Russian president.

“All over the world (these weapons) are valued by professionals for their reliability, quality and above all for their high efficiency. Almost all have been used over and over again in real combat conditions,” he continued.

The Kremlin chief was speaking on the first day of an international arms fair organized for a week in Kubinka, Moscow region, which is expected to draw around 1,500 participants.

Russia had ‘many allies’

Vladimir Putin assured that Russia has “many allies”, citing in particular “relationships of trust” in Latin America, Asia and Africa. “These are states that do not bow to so-called hegemony. Their leaders show a really masculine character,” he said.

According to him, the training of foreign soldiers in Russia also offers “great prospects”. “Thousands of professional soldiers are proud to consider our schools and our military academies as their alma mater,” Vladimir Putin said. He also invited Russia’s allies to take part in joint military maneuvers with Moscow.

Between 2017 and 2021, Russia was the second largest arms exporter with 19% of the world market, according to the Stockholm Institute (Sipri) report, figures that this source says have been steadily declining in recent years.

The consequences of Western sanctions against Russia since its offensive in Ukraine could further penalize its defense industry, particularly by blocking its logistical and financial circuits. Russian weapons also use foreign components that are now inaccessible for import.

Despite these difficulties, the director of Russia’s Federal Agency for Armaments Cooperation, Dmitry Shugaev, told the Ria-Novosti agency on Monday that Russia signed new arms export contracts worth US$16 billion in 2022, with an order backlog of US$57 billion.