Putin skips visit to machine-buildingplant and goes to Tula to talk about army needs instead

American Age Official

Russian President Vladimir Putin had planned a trip to the Uralvagonzavod military plant in Nizhny Tagil, near Yekaterinburg, on 23 December, but he has gone to Tula in central Russia instead, where he is to hold a meeting focused on supplies for the Russian occupiers in Ukraine.

Source: Russian media outlet 1; Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti; Kremlin-aligned news outlet TASS

Details: A motorcade of five Aurus sedans reportedly arrived in Yekaterinburg for Putin’s meeting, but they proved unnecessary because he did not turn up.

On the eve of the planned visit, bus drivers in Yekaterinburg were banned from dropping off passengers as the presidential motorcade approached. The sky was closed over the Sverdlovsk Oblast for three days, and driving schools in Nizhny Tagil were ordered to cancel practical classes on the roads.

Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president’s press secretary, announced without explanation that Putin would be visiting Tula on 23 December. There he would learn about products of the defence industry and convene a meeting about the needs of the military in the war in Ukraine.

Putin is scheduled to visit the Academician Arkady Shipunov Design Bureau of Instrumentation, where various weapon systems are manufactured.

Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu visited enterprises of the Kalashnikov Concern in the Republic of Udmurtia, Russia, on the same day.

Reportedly, Shoigu examined the latest models of assault rifles and sniper rifles, high-precision ammunition and portable anti-aircraft missile systems produced by the Kalashnikov Concern.

Background: On 22 December, John Kirby, the spokesman on national security for the US Presidential Administration, said that the Wagner Group had received a shipment of weapons from North Korea to strengthen Russian forces in Ukraine.

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