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German defense minister: Russia already produces surplus military equipment

by Martin Fornusek April 25, 2024 1:15 PM 2 min read
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius talks to the media during the seventh gathering of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein air base on March 19, 2024, in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)
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Russia is already producing more arms and military equipment than it needs for its war against Ukraine, and is filling its weapons warehouses, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said, as reported by the German television channel n-tv on April 25.

Despite Western efforts to undermine Russia's industrial and military output, the country is only increasing its investment into arms production, allocating a record portion of its 2024 federal budget for military needs.

As Russia switches into a war economy mode, "a large part or part of what is newly produced no longer goes to the front, but ends up in warehouses," Pistorius said on air of the ARD program Maischberger.

The minister warned against thinking that Russian President Vladimir Putin is stockpiling weapons only "out of caution." Instead, the Kremlin's chief may have other "plans" in mind, Pistorius added.

Russia's arms production has put Ukraine at a disadvantage on the battlefield, allowing Russian troops to outshoot Ukrainian defenders 10 to one in some areas.

"We still haven't seen where is Russia's breaking point,'" Mark Riisik, a deputy director in the policy planning department of Estonia's Defense Ministry, told The Guardian.

"It's (Russian arms production) a lot higher than we expected, really," he added.

Ukraine has struggled to keep up with Russia in this regard, as the Ukrainian and allied military production capacities often lag behind the Russian ones.

CNN reported in March that Russia makes three times the number of artillery shells that Washington or the EU can provide to Kyiv.

While the West appears to be picking up the pace and aiming to increase its production, it may take a year or more before the efforts bring fruit.

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