KyivPost

Putin promises to boost Russian air force

Print version
Aug. 11, 2012, 5:58 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Viktor Bondarev, top, watch as they attend the Russian air force's 100th anniversary in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has promised to re-equip the Russian air force with hundreds of new aircraft as part of an ambitious military modernization program.

Speaking Saturday at an airshow marking the air force's 100th anniversary, Putin said the military will receive more than 600 new combat planes and 1,000 helicopters by 2020.

He said boosting the air force is a key priority for the government.

Russia's defense spending has fallen sharply since the 1991 Soviet collapse, leaving the air force to rely on aging Soviet-built planes, but a recent boom in oil revenues has allowed the Kremlin to launch a costly effort to upgrade military arsenals.

Air force chief Gen. Viktor Bondarev said on Ekho Moskvy radio that the military will get 180 new aircraft this year alone.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/kyivpost/. The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.

KyivPost

© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.