Medvedev purges Russian weapons makers

AP News
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Posted: May 17, 2011 9:34 AM
Medvedev purges Russian weapons makers

The Kremlin says that President Dmitry Medvedev has fired several weapons plants chiefs and Defense Ministry officials over the industry's failure to deliver new weapons on time.

Medvedev also has reprimanded a dozen of other officials. Tuesday's move follows his recent meeting with arms manufacturers at which he criticized them for failing to meet last year's weapons orders and jacking up prices.

Medvedev toughened his message by saying that those responsible for such blunders during the Soviet times would have been sent to labor camps.

The government has earmarked 20 trillion rubles (more than $700 billion) for new weapons by 2020, but defense industries have struggled to deliver the promised hardware. Analysts attributed the delays to rampant corruption, outdated equipment and an aging workforce.