Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting on Friday with defense industry officials gathered from across the country in the city of Tula to discuss “problems” related to the supply of weapons to the Russian military, and how to improve deliveries and the weapons’ characteristics.
“The most important, key task for the military-industrial complex enterprise is to supply everything necessary to the front-line units — weapons, equipment and munition — of the necessary volume and the required quality in the fastest way,” Putin said at the start of the meeting, which he said is taking place in the “city of guns.” There is a large arms plant in the city.
“Moreover, it is important to considerably improve the characteristics of supplied armaments in the context of the latest battle experience,” Putin said. “I look forward to your proposals on addressing the problems that are inevitable in this large piece of work and how we will move forward and make sure there are fewer of them.”
“A key task in this is to set up a feedback loop between the military-industrial complex and the units involved in the special military operation,” he said, using his term for the invasion of Ukraine.
“Your specialists go to the frontline helping to repair quickly the damaged equipment and making it operational again, to test how it works in combat and make changes to the prototypes to improve their characteristics,” he said.
Some context: There have been reports of basic equipment shortages for Russian troops since the beginning of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian citizens are now crowdfunding to equip soldiers deployed to Ukraine as winter closes in on the battlefield.
In the Chuvashia region, where some of the mobilized staged protests in the fall, Telegram channels said that families had gone into debt buying equipment. And in Tambov, in central Russia, 8th grade schoolchildren also raised money for socks for the troops.
While many appeals focus on preventing hypothermia among soldiers fighting without adequate clothing and shelter in sub-zero temperatures, some also try to source thermal imagery devices, two-way radios, body armor and even drones.