(MENAFN) Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on Friday that a staggering half a million Russians have joined the defense industry since 2022, underscoring the nation’s robust military efforts in support of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Speaking at a forum dedicated to bolstering support for the war in Ukraine, organized in the town of Tula, approximately 200 kilometers south of Moscow, Putin declared the creation of 520,000 new jobs in the defense sector over the past year and a half.
In a significant economic pivot, Russia has redirected its entire economy towards the arms industry since 2022, substantially increasing production despite facing sanctions from the West. These sanctions primarily aim to impede the manufacture of ammunition and weapons. Notably, Moscow has managed to navigate certain sanctions by securing the necessary microelectronics, particularly from Asian sources.
The government’s commitment to prioritizing defense is underscored by the substantial approval of a nearly 70 percent increase in the federal budget allocated to defense for the year 2024. This move reflects Russia’s determination to strengthen its military capabilities and maintain a robust presence on the global stage.
However, the intensified focus on the defense sector, renowned for offering high salaries, coupled with the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of individuals and a significant exodus of workers abroad, has triggered labor shortages in key sectors like construction and agriculture. The ripple effects of this shift in labor dynamics pose challenges to the broader economy, highlighting the complex trade-offs associated with Russia’s emphasis on military expansion and its implications for other essential sectors.
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