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Russian Defense Chief Calls for ‘Next-Gen’ Weapons Use in Ukraine

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (С). Russian Defense Ministry

The Russian military should deploy next-generation weapons in its campaign in Ukraine, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

“We need to continue upgrading and creating advanced systems with their subsequent application in the special military operation,” Shoigu said at a ministerial board meeting.

Shoigu did not specify which types of innovative weapons systems he was referring to or whether this marked a strategic shift in Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

But his remarks follow months of battlefield setbacks that forced Russian troops to withdraw from territories it held in at least three Ukrainian regions.

He listed high-precision long-range weapons, drones and counter-battery warfare systems as key factors for “effectively defeating the enemy.”

“Missile forces and artillery play a significant role in this,” Shoigu said.

“Today we will discuss further steps to build up the combat capabilities of the missile forces and artillery, taking into account the experience gained.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry will focus on building nuclear weapons infrastructure in 2023, Shoigu said at the board meeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly hinted at Moscow’s nuclear capabilities as his country’s nine-month invasion of Ukraine has struggled to achieve lasting successes.

Shoigu added that 300,000 reservists and volunteers have passed through more than 100 Russian and Belarusian training camps in the two months since Putin ordered a “partial” mobilization.

Funding for state defense orders is expected to increase by 150% in 2023 to ensure the Armed Forces are provided with consistent arms and equipment supplies, he added.

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