How Russia’s military-industrial complex is poised for an offensive in Ukraine

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

According to the expert, the defense complex as a whole meets the tasks set for the country. Photo: Marina Moldavskaya / TASS


“Everything for the front, everything for victory” – this slogan of the Great Patriotic War is just right to remember now. The mobilization regime announced in the country concerns not only conscription in the army, but also the strengthening of the activity of the military-industrial complex.

– I will add that the decree on partial mobilization also provides for additional measures to comply with the state defense order, – said in his speech on September 21 Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Defense industry heads of enterprises are directly responsible for solving the tasks of increasing the production of weapons and military equipment and deploying additional production capacity. In turn, all issues of material, resource and financial support for defense companies must be resolved immediately by the government.

What’s behind these words?

“This is not just a call to mobilize such a call to come together and work better, there is a very specific and strict meaning behind the president’s words about the responsibility of the heads of defense industry companies,” a statement read. military expert captain of the 1st rank of the reserve explained to KP.RU Vasily Dandykin. – Disruption of the defense order, delay, it’s no secret that this happened – now, after the changes in criminal law passed by the State Duma, all this can already be considered a criminal offense. The time for negotiation is over. Delays should not be allowed.


According to the expert, the defense complex as a whole meets the tasks set for the country.

“We are strong in building tanks, in creating artillery systems, in manufacturing special power ammunition, especially hypersonic missiles, I would like to mention Kinzhal, Caliber, Onyx,” Dandykin continues. – In the conditions of hostilities, the replenishment of ammunition is important – Western propaganda said at the beginning of the operation that Russian missiles would only last a month, but it turned out that this was far from the case. We’re also strong on high military technologies, which the Americans still haven’t quite mastered. Simply put, we are stronger in almost everything. If we take aviation, I would note the well-functioning production of helicopters – K-52 and Mi-28 night modification.

The evil angels of modern special operations are drones. Nearly a decade ago, military experts warned that in local conflicts, they would largely decide the outcome of victory.

– Now in the zone of the special military operation there is a very high saturation of drones, including kamikaze, – says the expert. – Ukraine is heavily supplied by America and other countries. But we were not standing next to these developments. We had drones in every unit, many of them performed well, for example Orlan-10. And now the supply is increasing. And now even the Ukrainian side does not hide that our drones work very efficiently.


The main task is the fleet.

“The Black Sea Fleet is now an active participant in the NMD, especially in terms of delivering attacks with Caliber missiles at sea,” said the expert. – Frigates, small missile ships, submarines – they are also carriers of Caliber. The coastal missile troops also participate, armed with the Bal and Bastion complexes. As it has always happened to the people of the Black Sea since the time of Ushakov and Nakhimov, they actively defend the southern borders of Russia.

Now the situation in the maritime area of ​​operations is generally favorable for Russia.

“Turkey has closed the Straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles, which means that the fleets of NATO, the United States and other countries that used to frequent there cannot enter the Black Sea,” Dandykin analyzes. – What’s left? Our fleet is based on the Black Sea, and on the other hand, the fleet of Ukraine, which practically does not exist. And there are the fleets of Romania and Bulgaria, that must also be taken into account, but they are small. All this together in strength is incomparable to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

During the collapse of the Soviet Union, the loss of Nikolaev, where military shipyards were located, was a huge loss. But now this loss is being compensated.

– Shipyards in Crimea and a shipyard in Zelenodolsk, on the Volga, work for the Black Sea Fleet – from there ships are delivered to the Black Sea via domestic routes, – the expert continues. – These are small rocket ships of the Karakurt type, they will be resupplied and as far as we know one of them, the Cyclone, has already been put into service. Such ships will enter service and increase the power of the Black Sea Fleet. The ships being built in Rybinsk at the Vympel yard can also help the fleet.

So on our side there is a powerful naval group with the support of aviation, on the enemy side – coastal missile systems, mainly foreign ones.

“The Black Sea Fleet will have a lot of work to do, but I hope it will succeed,” Dandykin said. – A very strong grouping of the submarine fleet, here our positions are traditionally strong – both diesel boats and boats with strategic missiles depart on time.

The heads of defense industry enterprises are directly responsible for solving the tasks of increasing the production of weapons and military equipment and deploying additional production capacity.

A picture: Julia PYKHALOVA


But there are also problems. One is ship survivability

“The burnt-out cruiser Moskva is a particularly painful subject,” admits Dandykin. – But still, this is an experienced cruiser, he was 40 years old. With the help of Mayor Luzhkov, it was repaired and served for a long time. In general, the battle for survivability is the most difficult. But what to do, there are losses. But what can be said with certainty, the survivability of our ships is quite on the level of that of others, including the US Navy. And for submarines even higher – this has been proven in practice, and more than once. For example, when our and American submarines collided at sea, ours went into repair, the American – for decommissioning.

– In the navy they say that the ship and the crew are one. To really unite this, the following practice is now being tried – crews come to new buildings in advance, train, master the ship on shore to know it thoroughly, – says our interlocutor.

Another problem of shipbuilding is a fairly strong import dependency.

“For 20 years we have not mastered modern technologies for the production of materials and compositions, we have not created our own tool base,” laments military expert Vladimir Gundarov. – Yes, we have good machines, but they are imported. And they are in the service of western countries. This is especially dangerous for programmable machines – their software is linked via GPS to the companies that manufacture them. There are also many imported components in the ships – their share of the total cost is 60%.

But this problem is also solved.

– With military shipbuilding, the situation has changed for the better, – Dandykin is sure. – For example, domestic engines have already been installed on small rocket ships, before there were German ones. All surface ships, including frigates of the Admiral Gorshkov series, are switching to Russian power plants.


But we already had something similar in history – during the Great Patriotic War. Of course, the magnitude of the threat and the balance of power at the time were much less favorable to us, but even then they managed to organize the industry’s work.

It turned out that the Soviet mobilization economy was head and shoulders above that of fascist Germany. “The economy of the USSR was able to mobilize faster and surpass the German one not only in terms of quantitative indicators, but also in terms of labor productivity in the military industry,” writes Irina Bystrova, a leading researcher at the Institute of Russian History from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Yes, in the early months of the war, the country’s economy suffered tremendous damage. “In the immediate vicinity of the western borders 70-80% of the total stock of fuel, ammunition, food, clothing and convoys and household property was concentrated,” said Anastas Mikoyan, member of the Evacuation Council and the State Committee for the Recovery of the Economy. of the liberated regions, wrote in his memoirs. “The enemy got a lot.”

But already on the third day of the war, the Evacuation Council was established, in which the future pre-Council of Ministers of the USSR Alexei Kosygin played a leading role. The size (more than half of all the wagons in the country were involved) and the speed of the transfer of enterprises with equipment and workers (despite the fact that civilians could also be taken out of the battlefield) still amazes researchers. In the early months of the war, 2,593 industrial companies were evacuated to the east, of which 1,360 were defense companies. Many of them mastered new sites as early as the fall of 1941, converted to military rails, and began manufacturing products in early 1942.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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