The meeting was attended by Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshki and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.
Today, we will discuss issues related to measures for enhancing the effectiveness of work with our main partners in the CSTO and EAEU. A lot has happened lately. In one way or another, all of us have taken part in meetings with our colleagues and allies and planned certain things to develop our relations.
Today, we will talk about all this.
First of all, however, I would like to begin with the issues on the current agenda – the situation in the special military operation zone – which is more important than any other matter.
Mr Shoigu, what is the situation like in the zone of hostilities?
Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu: Thank you, Mr President.
As of today, the situation is shaping up as follows. After almost 16 days of active combat operations, the adversary sustained heavy losses and is no longer as aggressive as it used to be. Right now, it is regrouping and bringing its decimated units up to strength. Forces that could later mount an offensive are being drawn from various units and battalions. This is the lay of things in one sector.
In other sectors, as is natural, the adversary still has forces for further offensive operations, despite considerable equipment and personnel losses.
Apart from that, we observe attempts to evacuate destroyed or damaged equipment in certain sectors. They do not succeed everywhere, and yet such attempts continue.
Of course, preparations are in progress for further offensive actions, on our part as well.
Vladimir Putin: Good, I understand. Thank you.
Mr Patrushev, I asked you to maintain contact with colleagues from different agencies in order for us to form an objective picture as to what is going on and how it is regarded by different agencies involved in the special military operation. It is clear that the main responsibility rests with the Defence Ministry, but information piles up at other agencies as well. I know you do this work.
What are the summarised data at this point?
Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev: Thank you, Mr President.
In fact, we keep tabs on the adversary’s lost equipment in accordance with your instructions and receive information from the Defence Ministry, the Border Service of the Federal Security Service, the Military Counterintelligence Department of the Federal Security Service, and the Russian National Guard. We compare the data and reduce them to a common denominator. Specifically, we have looked at this information more attentively since June 4, because the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that they had started an offensive.
As of today, we have the following statistics. From June 4 to 21, we destroyed 246 tanks, including 13 Western tanks, as well as 595 armoured combat vehicles and armoured cars. Of this number, we have destroyed 152 infantry fighting vehicles, including 59 Western models, as well as 443 other armoured combat vehicles. We have destroyed 279 field artillery systems and mortars, including 48 Western systems. We have also destroyed 42 multiple launch rocket systems, 2 surface-to-air missile systems, 10 tactical fighters, 4 helicopters, 264 drones and 424 motor vehicles.
We continue to work in line with your instructions.
Vladimir Putin: What about service personnel?
Nikolai Patrushev: I believe that the information we receive about service personnel is more fragmented, but I can say that the grand total is over 13,000.
Vladimir Putin: Is this generalised data, right?
Nikolai Patrushev: Yes, this is generalised data. Our agencies report that the grand total is over 13,000.
Vladimir Putin: I see.
Mr Shoigu, we know that the enemy is to receive additional Western equipment. What does the Defence Ministry think about threats in this connection?
Sergei Shoigu: Regarding current and planned military equipment deliveries, there are plans to supply 250 tanks, including about 120 Leopards and 31 Abrams tanks, throughout 2023. There are also 95 T-72 tanks that they have scraped together from all over the world. This is what we know about the planned deliveries.
There are plans to deliver 983 armoured combat vehicles throughout 2023. In all, 822 vehicles, the bulk of the shipment, including 740 Western models, is set to arrive during the third and fourth quarters.
In effect, we can also see that all arsenals, accumulated by the Soviet Union and countries of the former socialist bloc, have now been virtually depleted. We can say the same about former Ukrainian resources.
The intention is to deliver 273 155-mm artillery systems throughout 2023. This is more than two times less than had been delivered so far.
In the context of the losses, listed by Mr Patrushev, and taking into account earlier developments, we now realise that the amount, due to be delivered throughout 2023, as well as those weapons that have already been delivered, will not seriously affect the course of hostilities. Additionally, most of the armoured vehicles and fighting vehicles belong to the previous generation, or even to an earlier generation. On the one hand, their armour is weak and ineffective, compared to modern equipment. Mr President, we do not see any threats here, all the more so as we are actively accumulating reserve equipment and service personnel.
As per your instructions, regarding the effort to form reserves by recruiting service personnel for serving under contract, I can report that as of today, in fact as of this morning, we recruited 114,000 people as contractual enlistees, and an additional 52,000 as volunteers. As for volunteers, you drew our attention to the fact that these people must get adequate training and I am aware of this.
Mr President, first, I would like to note that these volunteers are very motivated. They are eager to enter combat but we cannot send them into battle, primarily because there is no urgent need to do this. In addition, they must get serious training, and this is what they are actually doing right now at eight training ranges.
We have 645 instructors involved, all with combat experience, plus graduates from our military academies are also working with these volunteers. Today, they form well-trained military units so we cannot refer to them as simply volunteers anymore.
We are also building up reserves within our army corps. Moreover, we added five regiments to the 1st and 20th tank armies. Everything is proceeding according to plan: by the end of June, we will complete the effort to create a reserve army and the initiative to form an army corps will be completed in the near future too. Five regiments are already 60 percent ready, including in terms of both manpower and equipment.
Mr President, I have listed military equipment received by the adversary, including from Western countries. To create these two armies and an army corps, we supplied them with 3,786 pieces of equipment, and this was just for an army, the army corps and five regiments of the 1st and 20th armies.
Mr President, to give you a clear picture, we are recruiting 1,336 people per day on average as contract enlistees, which basically means a new regiment every 24 hours. As for military hardware, we are receiving about 112 units, on average, every day. This includes both upgraded and new equipment. This goes to say that we have gathered substantial momentum and do not expect anything to hamper our efforts to create this reserve.
Vladimir Putin: Good.
Mr Shoigu, what is the percentage of Western equipment out of the equipment that has been destroyed since June 4, which Mr Patrushev has just reported giving generalised data? Approximately.
Sergei Shoigu: How much has been destroyed?
Vladimir Putin: Yes, the number of destroyed pieces.
Sergei Shoigu: Mr President, of the 246 tanks destroyed, 13 were Western made. At the same time, it should be noted that, if we consider the equipment that was delivered, tanks in particular: 81 Western-made tanks have been delivered. Of the 81 Western tanks, 13 have been destroyed.
Of the armoured fighting vehicles, 59 Western ones have been destroyed. To date, Western countries have supplied Ukraine with an estimated 109 Bradley armoured fighting vehicles. Of the 109 BFVs, 18 have been destroyed. Overall, 59 Western-made armoured vehicles have been destroyed.
As for field artillery and guns, here, of course, I can estimate right away that out of the 48 pieces destroyed, about 30 percent were Western made.
Vladimir Putin: I see.
I understand that this is preliminary data, because it is impossible to immediately account for every detail on the battlefield, but I get the general idea.
And you confirm the data on the enemy personnel losses?
Sergei Shoigu: Yes, we confirm these data. Moreover, they largely came from intercepted information: reports from Ukrainian unit commanders on sanitary and irretrievable losses.
Vladimir Putin: I see.
From this we can conclude that they can certainly send in additional equipment, but the mobilisation reserve is not unlimited. And Ukraine’s Western allies really seem determined to fight with Russia to the last Ukrainian.
At the same time, we must proceed from the fact that the enemy's offensive potential has not been exhausted; they may have strategic reserves yet unused, and I ask you to keep this in mind when making fighting strategies. You need to proceed from reality.
Let's get down to the main topic.