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By Vladimir Voronov
Translated by Arch Tait
For the Russian armed forces and defence industry, ruptured ties with Ukraine and Western sanctions are proving disastrous.
Calls for a full transition to using only Russian materials and components in the manufacture of military hardware have been heard coming out of the Kremlin since the Yeltsin era, but the problem has become acute since the operation involving Russian troops in Crimea. It came as no surprise that the agenda for Vladimir Putin’s 10 April 2014 meeting with the directors of the leading enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex was unambiguously titled “To Consider Import Substitution Due to the Threat of Termination of Supplies from Ukraine of Products for a Number of Russian Industries”. The head of state expressed optimism, even before receiving a reply to his question of which Russian enterprises could increase production and how much it would all cost. Putin said he had “no doubt we will do it”, and that this “will be to the benefit of Russian industry and the economy: we will invest in developing our own manufacturing.”