Putin Advertises Russian Arms to Allies As Army Struggles in Ukraine


  • Vladimir Putin asked his allies to buy arms from Russia, saying the weapons are combat-tested.
  • He touted these weapons as “cutting-edge” systems, despite his army struggling in Ukraine.
  • Russia is the world’s second-largest weapons exporter, behind only the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged his foreign allies to buy arms from Russia, promoting them as combat-proven weapon systems even as his army continues to struggle in its invasion of Ukraine.

“We are ready to offer our allies and partners cutting-edge weapons – from small arms to armored vehicles and artillery, combat aviation and drones,” Putin said in his speech at the International Military-Technical Forum in Moscow.

“Military professionals throughout the world value these weapons for their reliability, quality, and, most importantly, their high efficiency,” he said. “Practically all of them have been used in actual combat more than once.”

The Russian leader didn’t mention any specific type of weapon or system but made reference to the war in Ukraine and spoke of how Russian “weaponry makers” were equipping Moscow’s forces “with modern weapons that are now working for our victory.”

Some of the high-profile weapons Russia has deployed in Ukraine include the T-90 tank, which Moscow has touted as one of the world’s best tanks but has struggled to help the Kremlin gain significant in-roads in the invasion. About 20 of the tanks have been destroyed in Ukraine, including two T-90Ms — the latest advanced version of the tank.

In March, Russia also started using its Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles for the first time.

However, even though Moscow has billed the Kinzhal as a hypersonic missile, the weapon is actually an air-launched version of the Iskander short-range ballistic missile that Russia has been using in Ukraine since the start of the invasion, per the UK’s defense ministry.

“Russian claims of having used the developmental Kinzhal is highly likely intended to detract from a lack of progress in Russia’s ground campaign,” the ministry said in March.

Putin’s advertising comes as Moscow continues to battle sanctions enacted by the US and Europe. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia has been the world’s second-largest arms exporter for years, behind only the US.

Sergei Chemezov, the head of the state-owned arms conglomerate Rostec, said that Russian weapons sales hadn’t been adversely affected by the war in Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported, citing Russian media. 

He said his company had signed contracts with foreign countries worth $16 billion this year, on par with some annual sales over the last 10 years.

Putin did not name any of Russia’s allies in his speech, though he praised his country’s “friendly and truly trustworthy relationships with Latin American, Asian, and African states.”

Representatives from 37 countries were present at the Moscow forum, per the Kremlin. Officers from nations such as Vietnam, Uganda, and Khazakstan were photographed at the showcase.





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