Private military companies from the United States are preparing provocations using chemical weapons in the Donbas, said the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu at the board meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry.
According to him, 120 employees of American PMCs arrived in the region and are training Ukrainian special forces soldiers.
"Tanks with unidentified chemical components were delivered to the towns of Avdiivka and Krasny Liman to carry out provocations," RIA Novosti quoted Shoygu as saying.
In addition, the United States and its allies supply Kyiv with helicopters, attack drones and anti-tank guided missiles. "The desire of the North Atlantic Alliance to involve the Ukrainian armed forces in its military activities poses a threat to the security in the region, considering Kyiv's attempts to solve the Donbas issue by force," Shoygu said.
Russia, as follows from the words of the minister, will respond with rapid rearmament and a sharp increase in the number of strike missile systems.
"By 2026, the number of carriers of high-precision long-range weapons will increase by 30%, and cruise missiles of various types - by 2 times," Shoygu said.
He added that in 2021, the state defense order has been fulfilled by 99.4% for procurement, 99.7% for the repair and modernization of equipment.
Russia has allocated 3.51 trillion ($47 billion) for “national defense” in the 2022 budget, - 129 billion rubles ($1.74 billion) more than in the current one.