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‘Of course there are threats’ Putin: Russia has three times as many tanks as Ukraine, ten times the aircraft, and will deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus

Source: Meduza

Russian president Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation, which ran the interview on state-run television network Russia 24. During the interview, Putin spoke about Western countries’ plans to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition, as well as the current state of Russia’s military-industrial complex. The Russian president also announced his plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of neighboring Belarus. Meduza shares the most important parts of Putin’s remarks.

There are threats, of course. We know about plans to supply weapons to Ukraine, including a million shells. Is that a lot or a little? It’s a decently large amount, it’s a lot. The U.S. produces 14,000–15,000 shells a month. Ukraine’s armed forces use up to 5,000 shells a day.

Russia’s armed forces use much more than that. I don’t want to assess the rationality of decisions at various levels of military command. We know that the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff have had to impose limits. But Russia’s military-industrial complex is running at a much faster pace than most expected. And Russia is producing three times as much ammunition as the instigators of the conflict.

The instigators plan to send Ukraine 420–440 tanks. We’re producing and modernizing more than 1,600 tanks. The total quantity of tanks will be three times higher than the number Ukraine has. In terms of aircraft, the difference is 10 orders of magnitude. The U.K. promised to supply Ukraine with ammunition with depleted uranium. We have hundreds of thousands of rounds of such ammunition. We’re not yet using them.

Alexander Lukashenko [the president of Belarus] asked a long time ago about deploying tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. The U.S. has done this for decades, placing tactical nuclear weapons on their allies’ territory. We’re doing the same thing. There are 10 aircraft in the Belarusian Air Force ready to use this type of weapon. We transferred an Iskander ballistic missile system to Belarus, and it can also support [tactical nuclear weapons]. We’ll complete construction on a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus on July 1.

We will not allow excessive militarization of the economy.

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