Russia seems to be “preparing for multiple further years of fighting” in Ukraine, as leaked documents indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defense spending is set to “surge”, a UK intelligence update reported on Sunday.
“Documents, apparently leaked from Russia’s Finance Ministry, suggests that Russia’s defense spending is set to surge to approximately 30 per cent of total public expenditure in 2024. The ministry proposes a defense budget of 10.8 trillion roubles, equivalent to approximately 6 per cent of GDP and a 68 per cent increase over 2023,” the British ministry of defense said in its war update.
It added: “It is highly likely that Russia can support this level of defense spending through 2024, but only at the expense of the wider economy.”
The UK ministry highlighted: “Full details on Russian defense spending are always classified, but these figures suggests that Russia is preparing for multiple further years of fighting in Ukraine. This follows public comments by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on 27 September 2023, suggesting he was prepared for the conflict to continue into 2025.”
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that an increase in Russia’s defense spending is an absolute imperative, as cited by state news agency TASS.
“It is obvious that such an increase is absolutely necessary, because we are in a state of hybrid war that has been unleashed against us. We are continuing the special military operation, and this requires great spending,” Peskov said about the draft budget.
Also on Thursday, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the funds reserved in the draft budget for the next three years would be enough for all planned purposes, adding that the slogan “Everything for the front, everything for victory” was among the budget’s priorities.