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MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Armed Forces should be capable of conducting standoff engagement-based operations to minimize service casualties by 2020, thanks to the major reequipment drive currently underway, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday.
The Russian Armed Forces should be able of “reaching the enemy before he reaches us, and destroying him even before he starts thinking about destroying our servicemen,” Rogozin told a senior staff meeting at the Russian Federal Defense Contracts Service (Rosoboronzakaz).
Rogozin said it was very important to draw lessons from “the tragic events of August 2008, when our Armed Forces had to conduct a peace enforcement operation against an aggressor,” referring to the brief war that year between Russia and Georgia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“It is necessary to ensure that in conducting such operations, which we are not guaranteed against [having to do], our servicemen, our soldiers and officers do not get killed,” he said.
The Russian Armed Forces suffered 67 fatalities in the five-day 2008 war with Georgia, according to Russian Defense Ministry statistics quoted in a report by the Center for Analysis, Strategy and Technologies, a Moscow-based think-tank. Of those, 48 were the result of enemy activity, it said.
That report also noted a fall in the capability of the Russian Air Force to provide tactical air power, and therefore a need for more deployment of tactical ballistic missile systems such as Tochka and Iskander.
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