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Shoigu says Russian army is most combat capable in world

"Modern Russian hardware was rigidly tested in conditions of the special operation and displayed supremacy over similar weapons of NATO countries," the defense minister stressed
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu Artyom Geodakyan/TASS
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu
© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. The Russian army is the most combat capable in the world, while the Russian military hardware displayed supremacy over western weapons in Ukraine, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at an enlarged board meeting of the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.

He summed up the results of the operation in Ukraine, disclosed Kiev’s losses that exceeded 383,000 men killed and wounded, set up the priorities of the ministry for 2024, and stressed that the military operation would be continued "until the goals are completely achieved."

Russian military supremacy

"The Russian armed forces can adequately and timely react to the actions of any modern adversary. Over 650,000 servicemen acquired combat experience. As for today, the Russian army is the most trained and combat capable in the world with advanced armaments that were tested in combat conditions."

"Modern Russian hardware was rigidly tested in conditions of the special operation and displayed supremacy over similar weapons of NATO countries."

"Despite sanctions, we produce more high-tech arms than NATO countries," Shoigu said.

Military operation

Russian troops have liberated five times more territory than the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics occupied before the beginning of the special military operation. Four regions with a territory of over 83 thousand square kilometers and a population of close to five million people have joined Russia.

The Sea of Azov has become an inland Russian sea. There is a land corridor to Crimea now and the railway traffic to Donbass has been restored.

Ukraine’s losses

The Ukrainian armed forces failed to overcome the Russian tactical defense zone during the so-called counteroffensive and sustained colossal losses. They lost 159 thousand soldiers killed and wounded, 121 airplanes and 23 helicopters, 766 tanks, including 36 Leopards, and 2,348 armored vehicles, including 50 Bradleys. "It is likely the reason why we have not seen US Abrams tanks on the battlefield so far," Shoigu said.

Since the beginning of the special military operation in February 2022, Ukraine has lost over 383,000 men, 14 thousand tanks and armored vehicles, 8.5 thousand artillery guns and multiple launch rocket systems, over 800 airplanes and helicopters.

Most foreign mercenaries fighting for Kiev have been eliminated. "Over 5.8 thousand militants were destroyed. A hundred and three war criminals who displayed specific atrocity have been eliminated in Ukraine. Everyone will face retribution," the minister said.

Western support

Ukraine received 203 billion dollars from foreign sponsors, which is 30 billion more than its Gross Domestic Product. "It is actually a bankrupt country, as most of the finances are credits that have to be repaid," Shoigu said.

Fifty-four countries declared military aid to Ukraine, but only 15 supplied arms and hardware. Kiev received a total of 5.22 thousand tanks and armored vehicles, over three thousand artillery guns, 23 thousand drones and 115 airplanes and helicopters.

NATO military operates air defense systems, multiple rocket launchers, operational-tactical missile complexes in Ukraine. They prepare military operations and train Ukrainian soldiers. Besides, 410 NATO satellites operate in Kiev interests.

Russian rearmament

Unprecedented steps to rearm the army and the navy, as well as to provide social support to servicemen have been made. The Russian defense enterprises switched to round-the-clock operation and increased capacities four times.

Since February 2022, the output of tanks has increased 5.6 times, armored vehicles - 3.5-3.6 times, drones - 16.8 times, and artillery shells - 17.5 times.

The defense industry has upgraded over a hundred arms and hardware units and is rapidly creating new ones. "The weapons that were designed and tested in ordinary conditions for 5-8 years, today reach serial production in 4-7 months. That has not happened since the Great Patriotic War," the minister said.

The Ground Forces have received 1.53 thousand new and upgraded tanks, over 2.5 thousand infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. The Aerospace Forces received 237 airplanes and helicopters, while the Navy got eight warships, four multirole submarines, and a strategic nuclear submarine.


The Russian military has accomplished major fortification tasks. Seven thousand kilometers of minefields were laid along the combat contact line to a depth of 600 meters.

Lessons of the operation

The Russian military has changed the general combat tactic and created assault and drone units. Approaches to reserve formation have been revised. "As a result, each army has a reserve regiment." Besides, the Russian military began to engage air defense systems in a complex manner and successfully use precision weapons, Shoigu said.

Military medicine

Russian military doctors achieved great results, as over 98% of the wounded recover. The mortality rate in hospitals is less than 0.5% and continues to decrease. "It is the lowest figure in the whole history of military medicine," Shoigu said.


Three hundred twenty thousand participants in the special military operation received state awards and 272 became Heroes of Russia.


Over 1,500 men daily apply to join the military service. Close to 490 thousand contracted men and volunteers have been enlisted since the beginning of the year. "The number of foreign volunteers increased seven times," the minister said.

Social provision

Participants in the special military operation are monthly paid 210 thousand rubles and more depending on the rank and combat missions. All the payments are timely made. The issue is controlled and measures are immediately taken in case of any deviations, Shoigu said.

Forty billion rubles have been earmarked for housing provision to participants in the operation.

The certificates of war veterans have been issued to 458 thousand soldiers. Fifty thousand certificates were issued in the past month.


All the manning plans for the army and the navy have been completely fulfilled. The strength has raised to 1.15 million men. Two combined arms armies, a combined aviation corps, fifty formations and military units have been formed.

"The strength of the armed forces will be increased to 1.5 million men to counter outside threats," Shoigu said.

Syria, Karabakh

The Russian forces remain the main guarantor of peace in Syria and Karabakh. They have to ensure stability in the regions next year.

2024 priorities

"Priority tasks for 2024 are to continue the special military operation until the goals set by the supreme commander-in-chief are achieved," Shoigu said.

The Strategic Missile Forces have to complete the work and put Sarmat ICBM on combat duty. The Navy has to receive four submarines, including the Knyaz Pozharsky strategic nuclear submarine, and eleven surface warships. It is planned to increase the output of Kinzhal and Zircon hypersonic missiles and increase the supplies of missiles and ammunition 1.8 times.

The number of contracted men in the armed forces has to grow to 745 thousand people by the end of 2024.