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Russian President Vladimir Putin has been facing challenges in his country’s war with Ukraine, and according to recent reports, he had one of his “strongest public outbursts” last month. The UK’s Ministry of Defence has claimed that Putin castigated his deputy prime minister, Denis Manturov, responsible for the defense industry in Russia, for “fooling around” during a televised meeting on January 12. This was apparently one of the strongest public outbursts from Putin since the invasion of Ukraine began.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022 and is set to mark its one-year anniversary on February 24. Despite the Kremlin’s initial expectation of conquering Ukraine within days, Russia has not been able to secure any major victories in recent months. According to reports, Russian forces have been running low on equipment, supplies, and morale for some time now.
The UK Ministry of Defence has also warned that Russia’s military industrial output is becoming a critical weakness, which Putin and other senior Russian leaders are “likely” to be aware of. The state’s production is falling short of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s demands to resource the Ukraine campaign and restore its longer-term defense requirements. The ministry of defense report also noted that Putin’s recent outburst could be a sign of frustration and concern about Russia’s military shortcomings.
In response to these challenges, Putin has repeatedly urged the defense industry to offer better support for the “special military operation” in Ukraine. On February 9, the deputy security council chairman Dmitry Medvedev called for an increase in Russian tank production while visiting a construction plant. However, the West has just agreed to send some of its top tanks to Ukraine to give it an advantage over Russia, which still uses Soviet-era tanks.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been a concern for the international community. While some have called for diplomatic solutions to the conflict, others have advocated for more aggressive measures, including the provision of military support to Ukraine. With Russia seemingly struggling to make progress in the conflict, it remains to be seen what steps Putin will take to try to turn the tide in his country’s favor.