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Russia plans funneling massive resources into Ukraine offensive to fight ‘hybrid war’

Tanks of pro-Russian troops drive along a road during Ukraine-Russia conflict near the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 17, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia has unveiled its plan to funnel massive resources into its Ukraine offensive to fight what it calls a "hybrid war" unleashed by the West, particularly the United States.

Russia’s finance ministry, according to a document released on Thursday, revealed that defense spending on Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, is set to jump by more than 68 percent year-on-year to almost 10.8 trillion rubles ($111.15 billion).

“The focus of economic policy is shifting from an anti-crisis agenda to the promotion of national development goals,” the ministry said in the document.

It added that such a decision included “strengthening the country's defense capacity” and “integrating” Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. The four Ukrainian regions were annexed to the Russian Federation last year following local referendums in the regions, which have not yet fully fallen under Russian control.   

The huge hike is more than the spending allocated for social policy in Russia.

“It is obvious that such an increase is necessary, absolutely necessary because we are in a state of hybrid war, we are continuing the special military operation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

“I'm referring to the hybrid war that has been unleashed against us,” he added.

According to figures and calculations by AFP, Russia’s defense spending in 2024 is set to total around three times more than education, environmental protection and healthcare spending combined.

Earlier this month, Russia's central bank warned that economic growth was set to slow in the second half of the current year.

The announcement came as UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg convened in Kiev on Thursday to discuss more military aid to Ukraine, whose President Volodymyr Zelensky is tirelessly lobbying for more air defense systems to boost its slowed counteroffensive against Russian forces.

“We need to get through this winter together, to protect our energy infrastructure and people's lives,” Zelensky told Stoltenberg, who said, “Every meter that Ukrainian forces regain is a meter that Russia loses. Moscow is fighting for imperialist delusions.”

“NATO will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the NATO chief stressed.

The US-led Western allies began flooding Kiev with weapons and ammunition shortly after Russia launched its war against the ex-Soviet republic in February 2022.

Moscow has repeatedly warned Western leaders against the continued supply of weapons and munitions to Ukraine, pointing out that such measures will not stop Russian troops from defending its objectives and that arming Kiev would only prolong the war. 

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