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President Vladimir Putin supports plans for Russia to expand its armed forces to 1.5 million combat personnel | World News

Putin promises whatever the troops need, they will get

Whatever you need, we’ll get you. That was, in a nutshell, what Vladimir Putin promised his troops today.

He’d heard the criticism about supplies – some of it legitimate, some of it “emotional”, he said – and he’d make sure the armed forces learned from their experiences and lacked for nothing going forward.

That even extends to every serviceman having access to drones – an interesting nod to the pervasive role drones are playing in Ukraine, in combat and intelligence, on a scale not yet seen in modern warfare.

Whether all that support materialises is a completely different story.

Corruption has long been endemic in Russia’s armed forces, part of the reason the last few months have seen regular citizens forking out huge sums for kit like body armour and tourniquets for their mobilised relatives.

This “special military operation”, as Putin still insisted on calling it, has shown that the Russian armed forces just aren’t quite the high-tech, ultra-modern army he’d made them out to be.

His factories are on overdrive and extra supply is coming from the likes of Iran, North Korea and Belarus.

Sanctions are making things harder on the defence side, even if Russia is good at finding workarounds.

Saying you’ll have anything money can buy isn’t the same as delivering it. But it does show he has no intention of giving up.

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