Moscow Times Editorial on Putin and UralVagonZavod tank factory

5565-08-pu_fireThe Moscow Times has published an editorial piece pointing out political connections between Russian President Putin and the UralVagonZavod tank factory.  In particular, it claims that tank production in Russia has been based more on Putin’s desire to secure his political base than on the actual defense needs of Russia.  Interestingly, the article also makes some claims regarding Russia’s highly touted new Armata tank, stating that the vehicle will not be produced in significant quantities until 2018.  The editorial states that “In an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov lamented: “We miscalculated on the Armata … The money allocated for that project turned out to be too little to produce the necessary quantity.”  The piece further states that “UralVagonZavod specialized machinery director Vyacheslav Khalitov has announced that the factory will produce only two dozen or so new tanks. They will make an appearance in the Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 9 and then return to the factory to complete production by year’s end.”  The full article can be read here.