Russia Vows to Increase Military Spending, Defense Minister Calls for Use of Advanced Weapons in Ukraine

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has called for the use of more advanced weapons in the Ukraine conflict. Shoigu's comments came on a day when the Russian army captured two key towns in the Donetsk region.

"It is necessary to continue the modernisation and creation of promising systems with their subsequent use during the special military operation," Shoigu said at a defence ministry meeting, Reuters reported.

Sergei Shoigu
Sergei Shoigu Twitter

The conflict in Ukraine, which Russia calls a special military operation, has killed tens of thousands of people on both sides as it enters the tenth month.

Need to Improve Artillery and Missile Attacks

Shoigu, close lieutenant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said there was a need to improve artillery and missile attacks. He did not specify which weapon systems will be used in Ukraine. There has been increasing speculation in the West about a possible use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine, though Moscow has said there are no such plans.

"New ways of using them in combat are being tested," Shoigu said, without giving specifics.

Shoigu, meanwhile, said Russia has improved the use of counter-battery fire with the use of long-range rocket systems like Tornado-S and high-power "Malka" artillery systems. "This makes it possible to effectively hit foreign rocket and artillery systems," Shoigu added.

Russia Nuclear Weapons
Russia is likely to strike back with weapons of mass destruction. Wikimedia Commons

Will Increase Military Spending

The Russian defense chief also said Moscow will increase military spending in the coming year. Russia's defense orders for 2023 would be 1.5 times more than the current budget, Shoigu said, according to Interfax news agency.

"This will make it possible to provide formations and military units with constant readiness for weapons and equipment at the level of 97 percent," Shoigu said at a meeting of the collegium of Russia's Ministry of Defense, according to Newsweek.

"It is important to maintain the maximum possible volume of production, to organize advanced deliveries to the troops ... It is necessary to continue the modernization and creation of promising systems with their subsequent use in the course of a special military operation," Shoigu added.

Vladimir Putin
The prospect of Putin resorting to the use of tactical nuclear weapons should not be taken lightly. Twitter

Capture of 2 Settlements

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Russian army said it captured two settlements near the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk. "In the Donetsk area, after offensive actions, Russian troops fully liberated the settlements of Bilogorivka and Pershe Travnya," the army said in the daily briefing.

Russia's military spending stood at $77 billion in 2022, Latvia-based Meduza reported, according to Newsweek. The data was put together using information from Russian Ministry of Finance, the report added.