By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: With regards to the ongoing Special Military Operation, Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu revealed a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground at extended session of Defence Ministry Board as of December 2023, demonstrating a successful campaign but noting that more work is to be done:
I would like to start with the preliminary results of the special military operation.
Russian Groups of Forces have liberated an area five times larger than that of the Lugansk and Donetsk people's republics before the special military operation began.
As a result of the referendum, four new regions have joined the Russian Federation, with a total area of more than 83,000 square kilometres and a population of about five million people.
A naval area has been created in the waters of the Sea of Azov, which has become an inland sea of Russia.
Railway traffic with Donbass has been restored.
A land corridor with Crimea has been in operation for more than a year. Road and railway communications have been established. 
Nearly three million refugees, who have not been in touch with their relatives since 2014, are back in new regions of the Russian Federation.
Since the beginning of the special operation, 54 countries have pledged to supply military hardware to the Kiev regime.
However, weapons and military equipment come from 15 countries. 
To date, Ukraine has received $203 billion from external sources, which is $30 billion more than its GDP. In fact, it is a bankrupt country. A significant part of these funds are loans that have to be repaid. 
In total, 5,220 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armoured personnel carriers, 28 airplanes, 87 helicopters, 23,000 unmanned aerial vehicles, over 1,300 artillery systems, including 494 M777, Caesar, Paladin, and Krab howitzers, as well as 2,650,000 155-mm and 122-mm shells were delivered to Kiev.
NATO military personnel have direct control over air defence systems, operational-tactical missiles, and multiple launch rocket systems. We record American, Polish, and English speech in radio intercepts when strikes with these means are being prepared. NATO officers are preparing military operations. They are training Ukrainian military personnel both in their countries and in Ukraine. 
A total of 410 military and dual-purpose spacecraft from NATO countries are working in the interests of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
On 4 June 2023, the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched a large-scale counter-offensive prepared by foreign supervisors. 
The enemy was stopped and suffered enormous losses failing to cross the tactical defence zone of Russian troops.
The enemy's losses included 159,000 troops (killed and wounded), 121 airplanes, 23 helicopters, 766 tanks, including 37 Leopards, 2,348 armoured fighting vehicles of various classes, including 50 Bradleys. Apparently this is why we still do not see the American Abrams on the battlefield that were delivered a few months ago.
Since the special operation began, the AFU's losses have exceeded 383,000 troops killed and wounded, 14,000 tanks, IFVs, and APCs, 553 airplanes and 259 helicopters, 8,500 field artillery guns and MLRS vehicles.
There have been nine mobilisation waves in Ukraine and the tenth is underway. Currently, even those who fit for limited military service are conscripted. 
The mercenaries who have been actively involved since the beginning of the special military operation have been eliminated for the most part. More than 5,800 militants were neutralised, including 1,427 from Poland, 466 from the United States, and 344 from the United Kingdom.
A total of 103 war criminals were eliminated on the territory of Ukraine who had committed particularly cruel acts. Vengeance will come upon all of them.
Unprecedented steps have been taken to rearm the Russian Armed Forces and to provide social support for servicemen, following a decision by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
To meet the needs of the Armed Forces, companies in the military-industrial complex have quadrupled their capacity and gone into round-the-clock operation. 
Since February 2022, production of tanks has increased 5.6-fold, infantry fighting vehicles 3.6-fold, armoured personnel carriers 3.5-fold, unmanned aerial vehicles 16.8-fold, and artillery ammunition 17.5-fold.
Today, troops are supplied with ammunition in proportion to the tasks they perform in the special military operation zone.
A modern and effective system was set with the coordination centres established by the decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, which took control over the state defence order. 
Repair units have had their production increased by one and a half times. More than 270 field repair workshops of the main defence industry companies have been set up in the special military operation area for the most complex works. 
As a result, the rate of repair and return to service increased 2.5-fold.
On behalf of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, large-scale tasks were addressed to equip defence lines in order to increase the stability of the Russian defence.
Seven thousand kilometres of minefields, 1.5 million 'dragon teeth' anti-tank barriers, 2,000 kilometres of anti-tank trenches, 12,000 precast concrete structures, 3,000 platoon strongholds, 45,000 dugouts, and more than 150,000 shelters for equipment have been created along the line of contact, which is more than 2,000 kilometres long. 
Today, the depth of mining is up to 600 metres, which is two times more than standard ones.
A colossal joint effort was made by military builders, engineers, and railway forces, whose troops carried out 82% of all the work. Following a decision by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Avtodor state company and civilian specialists from the constituent entities of the Russian Federation were involved. Many of the governors were personally involved in coordinating the construction of defences.
Today, this work is yielding results.
In the context of modern hostilities, approaches to the use of troops have been clarified. 
Serious changes have taken place in the tactics of combined arms combat. Assault units and units of unmanned aerial vehicles have been created and are being deployed.
We revised approaches to the formation of reserves. As a result, each army has its own reserve regiment. 
In the course of the special military operation, they started to use the air defence systems in a comprehensive way. These have greatly improved its capabilities for response time and range.
In just six months, 1,062 NATO HIMARS MLRS projectiles, operational-tactical, cruise, and guided missiles have been shot down.
With the active counteraction of modern air defence and electronic warfare systems of the enemy, high-precision weapons are successfully deployed.
Hundreds of ammunition depots, unloading stations for weapons and equipment, workshops of enterprises producing and repairing military equipment were destroyed in strategic and operational depth. 
Thousands of Ukrainian militants, nationalists, and foreign mercenaries were eliminated in the rear training and reserve formation centres.
During the special military operation we have significantly improved the quality and reliability of the deployed weaponry and military hardware. In the shortest possible time, representatives of industry working in the military upgraded 107 samples of military hardware. 
For the tasks of the troops, our leading designers have been creating the latest systems and means of destruction for several months. 
Weapons that have been developed and tested under normal conditions for 5-8 years are now brought to mass production within 4-7 months.
This has not happened since the Great Patriotic War.
Modern Russian equipment has passed a rigorous test in the conditions of the special military operation and has shown its superiority over similar models of NATO countries.
Training grounds and centres have been created for the use of FPV drones, individual electronic warfare equipment, and new aviation weapons. 
More than 1,700 unmanned aerial vehicle crews and over 1,500 operators of FPV drones have been trained in the groups of forces.
New, non-standard tactical methods of unit operations, which have proved their effectiveness on the battlefield, have been introduced into combat training. The capacity of the district and army firing grounds has been tripled.
More than 1,500 training places were additionally equipped, and more than 800 training facilities are being operated round the clock.
Practically in the shortest possible time, a new system of training military specialists was created.
High results have been achieved in medical support.
As a rule, first aid on the battlefield is rendered within the first minutes after a wound. 
Field hospitals, reinforced by experienced surgeons from central medical institutions, have been deployed in close proximity to the front line.
The survival rate of the wounded has been multiplied.
Thanks to prompt assistance on the battlefield, timely evacuation and high-tech medical care, more than 98% of the wounded are discharged with recovery.
All servicemen who have been wounded undergo a face-to-face medical examination by the military medical commissions of the military hospitals where they are treated. There are currently 440 such commissions.
The lethality rate in hospital care is less than half a per cent and continues to decline. This is the lowest figure in the history of military medicine. 
All of this makes it possible to return servicemen with combat experience to their units.
An effective rehabilitation system has been set up in hospitals and health resort organisations. 
To date, nine rehabilitation centres have been set up, where the wounded, after prosthetics, acquire new military and civilian professions. Of these, 75% are employed by military commissariats, higher educational institutions, and other Ministry of Defence organisations. 
Russian servicemen and volunteers have shown bravery, fortitude, and self-sacrifice during the special military operation. 
Tankmen, motorised riflemen, paratroopers, marines, pilots, and artillerymen are acting courageously.
In total, 320,000 people have received state awards. 272 have been honoured with the title of Hero of the Russian Federation.
The military and political bodies make a significant contribution to ensuring readiness for the fulfilment of combat tasks.
Deputy commanders for political affairs are in combat formation, explaining to the troops the aims and objectives of the special military operation and instilling in them a belief in victory.
Their work and patriotism ensure the high morale of our soldiers.
The special military operation has united the army and the people.
Every day, more than 1,500 people apply for military service. This year alone, about 490,000 contract servicemen and volunteers have been recruited.
More than 4,000 Russian students have voluntarily taken a sabbatical leave and are performing combat missions.
The number of foreign volunteers willing to fight in favour of the truth has increased seven times. In the Ukrainian army, the opposite trend is observed. 
The number of foreign mercenaries has decreased six times.
I would also like to thank the volunteers who created 348 additional production facilities for the manufacture of drones, camouflage nets and equipment.
Students alone produced over 50,000 square metres of camouflage nets, which made it possible to cover four battalion defence areas. 
University students have donated more than 17 tonnes of blood and continue to do so. Many fighters have had their lives saved.
It must be said that the entire country is supporting the Armed Forces and has united around the leadership of the state.
In summarising the results of the year, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief noted that the State fully meets the needs of the troops.
In addition to one hundred per cent of the provision of groups of forces, reserves have been created: 500,000 sets of clothing and individual armour protection equipment, 300,000 individual first aid kits, 160 vehicles for evacuation of the wounded.
Up to 15,000 tonnes of ammunition and fuel, as well as 2,000 tonnes of food and 1,500 tonnes of drinking water are delivered to the groups of forces every day to replenish consumption.
The level of pay for contract servicemen, volunteers, and mobilised personnel is balanced and ranges from 210,000 roubles a month and upwards, depending on the position held and the performance of combat tasks. 
Payment is made for the destruction or capture of enemy weapons and military equipment. 
All due payments are made on time. The issue of payments is kept under special control and, if any deviations are detected, actions are taken immediately.
Participants of the special military operation are provided with housing as a matter of priority. 40 billion roubles have been allocated for this purpose.
In order to improve the efficiency of work on the provision of social guarantees to servicemen and military pensioners, the Military Social Centre of the Ministry of Defence is being set up, operating on the one contact principle.
The procedure for obtaining certificates for veterans of combat operations has been simplified. We have switched to an application-free procedure for their issue. We have already issued 458,000 certificates. In the near future, the certificates will be issued to all participants.
All fighters engaged to assist the Armed Forces in the special military operation zone, including private military companies, receive veteran certificates in a timely manner after the measures taken. 
Last month alone, 50,000 such certificates were issued by decision of the Ministry of Defence.
From next year, we plan to switch to electronic certificates for veterans of combat operations.
In general, the experience of the special military operation showed that the Russian Armed Forces are capable of responding adequately and promptly to the actions of any modern enemy. 
More than 650,000 servicemen gained combat experience.
Today, the Russian Army is the best-trained and most combat-ready in the world, with advanced weaponry that has been tested in combat conditions.
The Russian nuclear triad is maintained at a level that makes it possible to guarantee strategic deterrence. The high combat readiness of the strategic nuclear forces is ensured by an unprecedented level of modernity of armaments, which has reached 95%.
The Strategic Missile Forces have completed the rearmament to the modern Avangard missile system and continue to be equipped with Yars complex.
The delivery of four Tu-160M strategic missile carriers to the aviation strategic nuclear forces is being finalised. 
This year, the strategic aviation forces conducted 20 air patrols, including two joint patrols with the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army of China.
Another nuclear-powered submarine cruiser of the Borei-A Project Emperor Aleksandr III, armed with Bulava ballistic missiles, has been commissioned by the Navy.
The Army received 1,530 new and modernised tanks, 2,518 IFVs and armoured personnel carriers.
The Russian Aerospace Forces received 237 airplanes and helicopters, 86 anti-aircraft missile weapons, and 67 radar stations. 
The development of training aviation continues. Thanks to the arrival of new combat training aircraft, the flight time of cadets has increased by an average of 20%.
The space and ground echelons of the missile warning system are functioning with the required efficiency. 
In the current year, 78 launches of ballistic missiles of various types, including foreign missiles, and 168 launches of domestic and foreign space rockets were detected by its means.
The construction of a unified technical complex for Angara launch vehicles was completed at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, which makes it possible to carry out the entire range of work to prepare for the launch of this type of missile.
The Navy received four modern multipurpose submarines and eight surface ships.
As a result, despite the sanctions, the Russian Federation produces more high-tech weapons than NATO countries do.
The frigate Admiral Gorshkov, armed with Zirkon hypersonic missiles, has successfully fulfilled the tasks of combat service in important areas of the World Ocean. In 263 days, it travelled more than 46,000 miles.
All plans for manning the Armed Forces this year have been fulfilled in full. Their strength has been brought up to 1,150,000 troops. 
Two combined arms armies, one mixed aviation corps, 50 formations and military units, including four divisions, 18 brigades, and 28 regiments, have been fully manned and equipped.
On 1 December, we began to fulfil your instructions, Vladimir Vladimirovich, to build up the Armed Forces to 1,320,000 men.
In connection with Finland's accession to NATO and Sweden's forthcoming admission to the alliance, the formation of the Leningrad and Moscow military districts is continuing. 
At the same time, we take into account the agreement signed between the United States and Finland, which provides for the use by the Americans of 21 Finnish military facilities, including all four air bases.
In proportion to external threats, the size of the Armed Forces will be further increased to 1,500,000 troops.
In 2023, all planned operational and combat training activities were completed, including 17 international exercises of various levels. 
In August of this year, the Ocean Shield 2023 naval exercise was held in the Baltic Sea within the framework of which the Navy and the Aerospaces Forces successfully carried out the tasks of protecting sea communications and ensured coastal defence.
During a special exercise, the Strategic Missile Forces successfully fulfilled the tasks of delivering a massive nuclear strike in response to the use of weapons of mass destruction by the mock enemy.
This year, a snap inspection of the combat readiness of the Pacific Fleet was performed. It involved more than 25,000 troops, about 90 airplanes and helicopters, and about 160 ships.
The Pacific Fleet has shown high readiness to repel the aggression of a potential enemy from oceanic and maritime directions.
In order to train new professional personnel, we are actively developing the military education system. 
In 2023, the Military Engineering Academy in Krasnogorsk and the Donetsk Higher Combined Arms Command School were opened. The Baltic Higher Naval School named after Admiral Ushakov in Kaliningrad acquired the status of an independent university.
Modern training complexes are supplied to improve the quality of training of servicemen.
The educational programmes of the Russian Defence Ministry’s educational establishments include training modules on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, robotics, and information technology. 
Number of candidates competing for each place at military universities remains stably high, and in these specialities it has grown to four people per place. 
Many foreign countries seek to study the combat experience we have gained in the special military operation. We are willing to share that experience.
In accordance with your instructions, the gradual build-up of the military training system for students of civilian universities continues. Today, more than 60,000 people study in 120 military training centres. Next year, the number of such training centres will reach 137. Military training will continue in all regions across Russia.
The network of pre-university educational organisations continues to develop. The Suvorov Military School was established in Irkutsk.
Military and military-technical cooperation with foreign countries is increasing.
We are developing relations with the armed forces of 110 states. The policy of strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership with China has continued. 
This year, 600 significant international events have been held.
Despite the threat of sanctions, more and more foreign military-industrial companies take part in the ARMY forum. This year, delegations from 83 foreign countries arrived, and the number of visitors exceeded one million people. Government contracts totaling more than 400 billion rubles have been signed. 
In August, the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security was held, which gathered more than 800 delegates from 76 countries. It is still the most representative military-political event worldwide.
The Second International Anti-Fascist Congress was held in Minsk. It was attended by government and public figures, veterans of the Great Patriotic War, as well as representatives of 30 countries.
Russian Groups of Forces continue to be the main guarantor of peace in Syria and Karabakh. 
Now, I would like to note the activity of the military construction industry.
All plans have been completed, more than 2,700 buildings and structures have been built. 
The main focus is placed on the development of infrastructure for Strategic Missile Forces. This year, 592 high-tech facilities have been built to accommodate the Sarmat, Avangard, and Yars missile systems. 
The infrastructure for strategic systems equipped with Burevestnik nuclear cruise missiles of unlimited range and carriers of Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicles is being created at an accelerated pace.
The construction of an energy centre to provide facilities for the Northern Fleet has been completed in Severomorsk.
A full-fledged naval base has been built at the main base of the Caspian Flotilla.
The reconstruction of the Baltimore, Lipetsk, and Chkalovsky airfields has been completed to accommodate all modern models of aircraft.
As part of the construction of military camps, more than a 1,000 buildings and structures of park and barrack housing zones have been built.
In the next three months, the construction of nine new modern military hospitals in the regions of Russia is to be completed.
The educational and laboratory building of the Medical Faculty of Pskov State University has been put into operation. 850 future doctors have started training there, including for the Armed Forces.
In Mariupol, military engineers built 18 residential buildings with 1,880 apartments, a school, and a kindergarten. 
The first stage of construction of the modern complex of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency has been completed.
As part of the restoration of water supply in the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, the construction of three water pipelines with a total length of more than 250 kilometres has been completed, which allowed providing water supply to over 1.5 million people.
In accordance with your instructions, the units of the Railway Troops continue the reconstruction of the Baikal–Amur Mainline on the Ulak – Fevralsk section with a length of 339 kilometres.
The main types of earthworks have been completed. 
Housing issues have been resolved for 56,000 families of military personnel, and 100,000 people receive compensation for renting housing.
This year, servicemen received housing subsidies for the purchase and construction of housing for more than 73 billion rubles.
Major patriotic and cultural projects have been implemented.
Special attention is paid to the patriotic education of young people.
Today, the Yunarmia is the largest military–patriotic organisation in the country, numbering 1.5 million children and adolescents. 79 new Yunarmia training centres were opened during the year, and their total number is 261 centres.
The network of Avangard educational and methodological centres became the basis of initial military training and military-patriotic youth education system in the country.
Russian President's decision to create regional centres in cities with a population of over 100,000 has been practically implemented. They began to build them in settlements with a population of 50,000 people.
In total, 73 regional centres have been established, in which more than 150,000 high school students have been trained.
Supreme Commander-in-Chief!
In general, all the tasks set for 2023 have been completed by the Armed Forces. The set level of maintaining the country's defence capability has been ensured.  
Priorities for the next year are as follows.
To continue the special military operation until the tasks defined by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief are fully completed.
The main efforts in combat training should be focused on the high-quality training of newly formed units, as well as the coordination of formations and military units.
The Russian military contingent shall be the guarantor of peace and stability in Syria and Karabakh in the changed situation.
To implement a set of operational and combat training measures taking into account the threats of further expansion of NATO to the East. 
To prepare and conduct the Ocean 2024 strategic command post exercise.
In the Strategic Missile Forces, to complete the work on putting the Sarmat strategic missile system on combat duty. 
To put two Tu-160M strategic missile carriers into service with the Strategic Aviation.
To commission the Borey-A Project Knyaz Pozharsky nuclear-powered submarine, as well as three submarines and 11 surface ships.
To increase the production of Kinzhal and Zircon high-precision hypersonic missile systems, and to increase the supply of missiles and ammunition by 1.8 times.
Continue developing other promising samples.
To increase the number of military personnel under the contract, taking into account the recruitment of new formations, to 745,000 people by the end of the year.
To ensure the construction of military and social infrastructure facilities in a guaranteed and timely manner, taking into account the growing needs of the armed forces.
Supreme Commander-in-Chief!
In accordance with your instructions, next year we shall continue the course of progressive development of the Russian Armed Forces and increase their combat capabilities. 
We will discuss the results of our activities in detail during the closed part of the Board session.