Russia’s Shoigu urges faster artillery production, no ‘fooling around’


(Reuters) – Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has told military manufacturers to “stop fooling around” and further increase the production of self-propelled artillery systems.

Shoigu visited arms-producing factories in the Urals industrial city of Yekaterinburg on Tuesday and said Russia was increasing production of air defence missiles after a series of Ukrainian drone attacks that have targeted cities and energy infrastructure.

In video published by news site RBC on Wednesday from Shoigu’s factories tour, he chided the management of one plant for not producing enough self-propelled artillery.

“Listen, stop fooling around here, guys. We got busy with this in 2022. We should have had these machines operating at full capacity in 2023,” he told the plant’s bosses.

“I’d like to receive within a week a specific proposal on how we’ll reach the indicators set by the president (Vladimir Putin) … this must be done, because all these orders are connected with the performance of very specific work on the battlefield,” he said.

The director said the factory had already increased production six-fold in the last two years.

Russia has placed its economy on a war footing and shifted defence plants to round-the clock production to meet the needs of its forces in Ukraine.

Its defence industry will supply the army with “several times” more military equipment this year than in 2022 and 2023, Interfax news quoted Deputy Defence Minister Alexei Krivoruchko as saying this month.

(Writing by John Davison; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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