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New Russian Defense Minister lists priorities in case of Ukraine invasion

Andrey Belousov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s newly appointed defense minister with no prior military experience, shared a list of priorities he would work on once he takes office.

At a plenary meeting of the Russian Federation Council, Belousov said that equipping front-line troops, developing new technologies for war and ensuring timely payments and housing assistance for military personnel were all equally important priorities for him as new defense minister.

“The key task, of course, remains to achieve victory and ensure that the military-political objectives of the special military operation, set by the president, are achieved. In this regard, I would especially like to emphasize: with minimal human losses,” Belousov said at a session of Russian lawmakers on Tuesday.

Belousov, an economist and former Russian deputy prime minister, also said Putin had asked him to integrate Russian military finances into the country’s economy, which would require improving the efficiency of military spending.

“I want to emphasize this: optimization does not mean drastic reductions. Optimization means, first of all, increasing efficiency so that every ruble of budgetary money that our citizens ultimately pay has maximum effect.

“This applies to food, production, supply of new military equipment and weapons, as well as personnel,” Belousov said, cementing outside speculation that his appointment would come as Putin becomes unhappy with corruption and inefficiency under the command of former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

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Reports circulating on social media claimed that the missiles were fired at Ukraine’s Kharkiv region during the latest Russian offensive.

Belousov also spoke about providing all Russian troops in Ukraine with modern equipment, including artillery ammunition, missiles, personal protective equipment, special communications, drones and electronic warfare equipment – ​​all of which require a delicate and synchronized planning, he said.

Another priority he mentioned was developing new technologies to gain an advantage over kyiv, which ironically reflected former Ukraine Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny’s belief that technological advances are the key to Ukraine’s victory.

Belousov’s success in leading Russia’s national drone development project since early 2023 has likely won him some favor with Putin, as Russian drones have continued to harass Ukrainian troops despite ongoing Western sanctions and amid success. limited on the Russian battlefield.

Beloussov also said that the personnel issue was a priority for him, while emphasizing that he was not talking about mobilization, according to RIA Novosti.

He also highlighted the lack of medical infrastructure for Russian troops.

“There are problems related to the availability of medical services provided by civilian institutions to military personnel,” he said.

Belousov’s appointment comes as Russia’s war in Ukraine has shifted from Moscow’s initial goal of capturing kyiv in weeks to more than two years of slow advances and drastic personnel losses, with kyiv claiming to have eliminated nearly 500 000 Russian soldiers.

While Russia has managed to make some tactical gains in recent months – largely due to ammunition shortages in kyiv – its lackluster performance has prevented the Kremlin from capturing the entire Donetsk and Luhansk regions, two Ukrainian separatist regions. which Russia used as an excuse for its full-scale invasion in 2022.

That said, it remains to be seen whether appointing a career bureaucrat and economist to head the Russian Defense Ministry could address the failures and shortcomings of the Russian military over the past two years – some of which were systematic .

News Source : www.kyivpost.com
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