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Russian Defense Minister Calls to Speed Up Bomber Production

Russian Defense Minister Shoigu inspects progress in the implementation of the state defense order in Novosibirsk. Russian Defense Ministry

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday called for more Su-34 fighter jets to be produced, as Moscow pursues its offensive in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has announced a massive spending hike to accommodate its military needs in Ukraine as its large-scale offensive approaches its second year.

"These planes are real workhorses. They can make four to five flights a day," Shoigu said during a visit to an aeronautical manufacturing base in Novosibirsk in Siberia.

"That's why we need to step up, accelerate" their manufacture, Shoigu said.

He said the Defense Ministry has "tasked the factory's management with accelerating production and repair work" of Su-34s because the weapon is "in demand."

The comments came during a visit by Shoigu to the Novosibirsk aviation plant, some 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) east of Moscow.

The Kremlin — hit by an unprecedented Western sanctions regime — has, however, pivoted to a wartime economy.

It has increased defense spending by 68% for 2024, totaling around 6% of GDP — more than spending allocated for social policy.

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