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Russia unveils huge spending hike to battle ‘hybrid war’

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Russia unveils huge defence spending hike to battle ‘hybrid war’

Russian defence spending is set to jump year-on-year to almost 10.8 trillion roubles (US$111.15 billion)Nato secretary general meets with Zelensky, says alliance will stand with Ukraine for ‘as long as it takes’Ukraine warAgence France-PressePublished: 10:39am, 29 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Russia said that it planned to raise defence spending by almost 70 per cent next year, funnelling massive resources into its Ukraine offensive to fight what it calls a “hybrid war” unleashed by the West.

With Moscow’s “special military operation” now approaching another winter, both sides have been digging deep and procuring weapons from allies in preparation for a protracted conflict.

The announcement on Thursday came as Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg and the defence ministers of Britain and France visited Kyiv, where President Volodymyr Zelensky lobbied for more air defence systems.

“We need to get through this winter together, to protect our energy infrastructure and people’s lives,” Zelensky told Stoltenberg, warning of a fresh campaign of Russian attacks after last year’s strikes left millions short of water and heating.

Ukraine’s newly appointed defence minister Rustem Umerov, after meeting with his British counterpart Grant Shapps, said “winter is coming but we are ready”.

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