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Weapons Makers Purged

President Dmitry Medvedev fired several weapons plants chiefs and Defense Ministry officials Tuesday over the industry's failure to deliver new weapons on time.

Medvedev also reprimanded a dozen other officials. The move follows his recent meeting with arms manufacturers at which he criticized them for failing to meet last year's weapons orders and jacking up prices. Medvedev said those responsible for such blunders during Soviet times would have been sent to labor camps.

The government has earmarked 20 trillion rubles (more than $700 billion) for new weapons by 2020, but defense industries have struggled to deliver the promised hardware. Analysts attributed the delays to rampant corruption, outdated equipment and an aging work force.

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