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Putin urges measures to stem illegal flow of weapons into Russia

cis summit in kyrgyzstan
Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin called on Friday for measures to curb the illegal circulation of weapons and ammunition in Russia, including from Ukraine.

“We need to think about how weapons and ammunition enter the territory of the Russian Federation illegally… including from the territory of Ukraine,” Putin told a meeting of Russia’s Security Council.

“We need to look at all these channels, look at how departmental control measures are organised, and see what needs to be done additionally to strengthen the regulatory framework.”

He invited the head of the National Guard and the interior minister to give a detailed briefing to the Council on the issue. No further information was immediately available.

Russian society has become more militarised since Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, which Moscow continues to call a “special military operation”.

There are no signs of any let-up in a war that has also seen Ukrainian drone and missile strikes on targets inside Russia, including Moscow, and cross-border raids by pro-Ukrainian “saboteurs”.

Last autumn, Putin ordered a special mobilisation of 300,000 reservists with previous military experience, the first of its kind since World War Two.

Russia also called up 147,000 men aged 18 to 27 between April 1 and July 15 to perform their compulsory military service as part of its longstanding twice-yearly conscription cycle.

Defence spending will account for almost one third of Russia’s total budget expenditure in 2024, according to government draft plans, as Moscow diverts ever more resources to the war.

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