• Putin: Russia to press ahead with military modernization

    MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin says Russia will maintain a high tempo of modernizing its military arsenals this year.

    Speaking Thursday at a meeting with the top military brass in the southern Russian city of Sochi, Putin said the Russian air forces would receive 160 new aircraft this year and the army is to get 500 new armored vehicles and artillery systems.

    He added the navy would commission 10 warships.

    Putin warned military industry leaders that they bear personal responsibility for meeting the new weapons procurement targets. Thursday's meeting was the latest in a series of conferences on military issues Putin chaired this week at his Black Sea retreat.

    The Kremlin has conducted a sweeping military modernization program amid tensions with the West over the fighting in Ukraine, Syria and other disputes.

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