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MOSCOW: Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Saturday called for more tanks to be manufactured “to meet the needs of Russian forces” in Ukraine after Kyiv launched a counteroffensive with Western arms.

Shoigu, who visited a military factory in western Siberia, stressed the need “to maintain the increased production of tanks” and better security features in armoured vehicles, the defence ministry said.

Ukraine’s long battle for Bakhmut takes toll on German gun

Shoigu said this was necessary “to satisfy the needs of Russian forces carrying out the special military operation” launched by Moscow in Ukraine in February last year, it added.

Russia claims the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed but Kyiv says it has retaken several localities and about a 100 square kilometres of territory, mainly on the southern front.

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