Russia’s President Vladimir Putin today assured that his country is producing as many anti-aircraft missiles as all the countries of the world combined, in response to the alleged shortage of ammunition in the Russian Army.
“As far as anti-aircraft defence missiles of different classes are concerned, Russian production is comparable to world production,” the Russian head of state stressed during a meeting in the Kremlin with Viacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine.
Putin stressed that Russia manufactures “three times more” anti-aircraft missiles than those produced by the United States for the Patriot anti-aircraft defence systems.
“The war performance on the battlefield shows that Russian anti-aircraft defence is one of the best in the world. In addition, of course, our systems are modern and reliable. Anything can happen, but in general they work without errors,” he stressed, quoted by Efe news agency.
In December, coinciding with a visit to Washington by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the United States announced the deployment of Patriot systems to Kiev to neutralise bombardments by Russian forces.
According to Putin, his country will find “an antidote” against the Patriot, which he considered to be “quite old” and which do not work “as well” as the Russian S-300.
“We will crush them” like walnuts, he added, in reference to the US defence system.
Last week, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that his country also plans to send components of the Patriot system to Ukraine.
During the meeting with the governor of Belgorod, Vladimir Putin also touched on providing aid for the construction of housing for those who had to be evacuated from the border with Ukraine for security reasons.
Belgorod is the region suffering the most attacks since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and at least 25 people have been killed and nearly 100 injured in the Ukrainian attacks, the local governor announced today.
It is the first time in 11 months of conflict that Russian authorities have officially given the number of dead and injured in a particular region.
The military offensive launched on 24 February 2022 by Russia in Ukraine has so far caused the flight of more than 14 million people – 6.5 million internally displaced and almost eight million to European countries – according to the latest data from the UN, which ranks this refugee crisis as the worst in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).
At the moment 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian aid and 9.3 million need food and shelter.
The invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin with the need to “denazify” and demilitarise Ukraine for Russia’s security, has been condemned by the international community in general, which has responded by sending arms to Minsk and imposing political and economic sanctions on Moscow.
The UN has reported 7,068 civilians killed and 11,415 injured since the start of the war, stressing that these figures are far below the real ones.