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25.03.2020 (16:30)

The Russian Defence Minister spoke at a meeting of the Federation Council

The head of the Russian military Department, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, spoke at a meeting of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.

The Defence Minister told the senators about the state of the Armed Forces and the main directions of their further development.

At the beginning of his speech, Sergei Shoigu recalled the state of the Russian Army in 2012.

"To correct the situation, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief in May 2012 set a number of priorities: to increase the share of modern weapons to 70 percent by the end of 2020, to increase the number of contract employees by at least 50 thousand people annually for five years, to raise the level of social protection of military personnel in terms of housing and financial allowances, to organize work on military-Patriotic education of young people, to increase the prestige and attractiveness of military service," the Defence Minister said.

During his speech to the Federation Council, Sergei Shoigu spoke about the current state of the Russian Armed Forces.

"The equipment of the troops with modern weapons and equipment has been brought to 68.2 percent. By the end of the year, it will reach the target of 70 percent. At the same time, modernity in the strategic nuclear forces will exceed 87 percent. The serviceability of weapons and equipment in the Armed Forces is maintained at the level of 94 percent, " the head of the military Department said.

In addition, large-scale work has been completed to re-equip all missile brigades with the "Iskander" operational and tactical complex. Since 2012, the Land Forces have received more than 12 thousand modern weapons and equipment.

The Aerospace Forces and Navy received more than 1,400 aircraft and helicopters. The Navy — more than 190 ships, boats and support vessels.

As a result, by 2020, as the Defence Minister stressed, the combat potential of the Armed Forces has increased more than twice, which allowed us to maintain strategic parity with NATO in the face of growing military threats.

"The military activity of the North Atlantic Alliance near our borders increases every year. The block's land and sea groupings are being built up. The membership of NATO member countries is expanding. The US global missile defense system is being deployed — " Sergei Shoigu said. — In contrast to these and other threats, we are fulfilling the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief in his messages to the Federal Assembly. First of all, the deterrence potential is being built up."

The head of the military Department added that high-precision hypersonic aviation missile systems "Kinzhal" are on experimental combat duty. Flight and design tests of the naval hypersonic missile "Zircon" are being conducted. In December of last year, the first "Avangard" missile regiment and the "Peresvet" laser devices went on combat duty. The modernization of industrial production for the serial production of the "Sarmat" heavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile has been completed.

"The information space today has become another theater of war. Over the past three years, the information infrastructure of the Armed Forces has been attacked by more than 25 thousand high-tech computer attacks from abroad. At the same time, their number increases annually by an average of 12 percent. We are ready for this fight," the Defence Minister said.

Sergei Shoigu assured that the Russian military Department has created a reliable system for protecting information resources, ensuring high stability of the Armed Forces command system. All attacks are being neutralized.

"We actively counter fake news. Western countries regularly accuse Russia of involvement in high-profile incidents such as interference in American elections, various hacker attacks, concealment of combat losses, and so on. In our country, they are picked up by the Pro-Western opposition, which is regularly trained abroad. Using media laws as a cover, its activists try to infiltrate military facilities and hunt for relatives and witnesses. They go to hospitals where our wounded lie, to cemeteries, to memorials. They videotape entrances and exits of our classified facilities and load them up on the Internet. You can imagine what responsibility they would be facing in Western countries, " the head of the military Department said, stressing that this area requires further legislative regulation.

Then the Defence Minister told the senators about the results of the activities of the Russian Armed Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic.

"You see the results of our activities every day. The operation in this country has increased Russia's international prestige and given a huge qualitative boost to the development of the Armed Forces," Sergei Shoigu said.

According to the head of the military Department, all commanders of military districts and their staff officers, as well as all commanders of combined arms, air force and air defense armies, commanders of divisions, brigades and regiments, 90% of aircrew, 56% of air defense specialists, 61% of the Navy, 98% of the military police received combat experience.

"We have a whole pleiad of high-class pilots with 200 or more combat missions," the Defenсe Minister said.

In continuation of coverage of the state of the Armed Forces, Sergei Shoigu said that the troops are equipped with modern and proven reliable weapons.

"Over the past seven years, the personnel of the Armed Forces have changed significantly. The number of conscripts decreased to 225 thousand, and the number of contract employees exceeded 405 thousand, which is more than doubled. They are fully equipped with NCO positions, combat units of Special Forces, marines, battalion tactical groups, as well as positions related to the operation of complex equipment. Material incentives for contractors have been implemented, " the head of the military Department said.

In addition, according to the Defence Minister, the military education system has been restored. In 2018, the first full graduation of officers from military universities took place. A high competition for educational institutions of the Ministry of Defence of Russia is maintained. Last year, it reached up to 18 people per slot.

In continuation of his speech, the head of the military Department touched upon the topic of social protection of military personnel.

Turning to the issue of military-patriotic work in the country, the Defence Minister recalled that recently there were opinions about the degradation of this system.

"Since 2016, we have moved from discussing concepts, approaches and principles to real action. It was created all-Russian military-patriotic movement "Yunarmiya". Today, there are more than 700 thousand young men and women in its ranks, united by a common idea of patriotism and a desire to serve the Fatherland," the head of the military Department said.

"In preparation for the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, we are implementing a number of projects," Sergei Shoigu continued.

In commemoration of this event, the Main Cathedral of the Armed Forces will be consecrated and opened. The project has become truly popular. Citizens were united by the idea of preserving the spiritual memory of the Great Victory.

In addition, the "Memory Road" museum complex on the temple grounds commemorates all participants of the war for the first time in world history. To date, more than 27 million photos and records have already been processed, and 11.5 thousand front-line letters have been posted.

In conclusion, the head of the military Department noted that the prestige and attractiveness of military service has significantly increased.

"Since 2012, Russian society has seen a steady increase in approval of the activities of the Armed Forces. The Russian army is trusted by about 90% of the country's population, negative ratings have decreased by 4.5 times, " the Defence Minister cited statistics.

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