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Meeting with members of the Government Coordination Council on the needs of the Russian Armed Forces

October 25, 2022, The Kremlin, Moscow

The President held a meeting, via videoconference, with members of the Government Coordination Council on meeting the needs of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, other troops, military formations and bodies.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

As you know, the Executive Order to establish the Coordination Council under the Russian Government was signed on October 21.

My colleagues told me many times and for different reasons – in connection with the economic restrictions and the conduct of the special military operation – about the need to update procedures and regulations on decision-making in the most diverse areas of activity. This concerns the economy in general and individual branches of production, the Armed Forces, supporting the special military operation with everything necessary and so on.

We faced certain difficulties and the need to upgrade our work, give it a new momentum and new character when we were responding the coronavirus pandemic. We managed to do much then to update these regulations and get rid of the archaic procedures that are preventing us from moving forward at the pace the country needs.

Now we are faced with the need to more rapidly resolve issues associated with providing support for the special military operation and the need to counter economic restrictions that were imposed on us, which are truly unprecedented without any exaggeration. I have spoken many times with many of those present at this meeting about issues related to the need to update our entire work to improve administrative procedures. We have approached these problems many times from various angles.

And now the situation is such that life itself is pushing us to give this effort the most profound consideration and develop common approaches to updating all procedures, all administrative procedures, everything that is part of “governance” in the broadest sense of the word. And this, of course, cannot be done without broad and deep coordination between all efforts, all entities, all ministries, agencies with entirely different scopes – officials responsible for security and economics, and regional governments. This is precisely the purpose that the Coordination Council was created for.

Let me remind you that the Coordination Council was to have formulated target objectives for each specific effort by today. These target objectives are not ready yet, but I have no doubt that they will be sent in in the near future.

The Coordination Council includes deputy prime ministers, heads of agencies, including security ones, representatives of the Executive Office and of Russian regions. As you know, it is headed by the Prime Minister, and I would like to give him the floor now.

Mr Mishustin, I would like to ask you to tell us how you are planning to organise this work in the very near future and what you consider to be the most important, the highest priority in this work.

Please, Mr Mishustin, go ahead.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin: Thank you.

Mr President, colleagues,

Following your instruction, Mr President, we established the special Coordination Council to meet the needs of the Armed Forces. It held its first meeting yesterday. To begin with, we formed its structure, determined the main sets of tasks and the supervising deputy prime ministers.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko will be in charge of finances and regulations as a deputy head of the Council, while Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov will deal with supplying weaponry, uniforms and food for our military personnel. He will head the working group at the same time.

Another two deputy prime ministers will head the Council’s groups in other key areas. Marat Khusnullin will be responsible for building infrastructure. It is not limited to barracks or training camps but also includes social facilities, transport and logistics. Tatyana Golikova will be in charge of medical support, including provision of specialised, high-tech assistance and rehabilitation for our defenders. Naturally, she will also supervise a very important area – the military pay system.

There are other areas in which we will systematise our work. This primarily concerns fuel supplies, energy, communications, information system development, databases, analytical support and, of course, feedback from mobilised personnel and their families.

In accordance with your instruction, we have already developed this information system. There is a hotline people can reach by dialling 122 to receive the information they need. It has already received about 1.5 million calls though the number is steadily declining. By today, it has gone down from 170,000 to 20,000 calls per day. The hotline’s database has over 600 replies. It is being expanded with the arrival of new questions. A major portion of answers is published on the Obyasnyayem.RF website. Almost 18 million people have visited this website since the start of mobilisation.

We are dealing with life situations, responding to people’s requests, using the feedback platform of the unified public services portal for this purpose as well. We are not only analysing typical problems but are also working on a case-by-case basis with due account for regional features and other specifics.

Mr President, you gave an instruction to organise the timely issuance of monthly payments to our defenders, including mobilised soldiers and those who were called up and are undergoing training. As I already said, this work is being carried out by Tatyana Golikova and Anton Siluanov as part of the Coordination Council’s activities.

Monetary allowance for the rank-and-file mobilised troops amounts to 195,000 rubles from day one. Increased payments are made in accordance with rank. All funds have been made available to the Defence Ministry in a timely manner. We are keeping a close watch.

These payments are being monitored by the Finance Ministry jointly with the Defence Ministry as part of the Coordination Council working group’s activities.

We are about to launch a feedback form on the public services portal to monitor compliance.

We will continue to inform the public about federal and regional support measures.

I am confident that the distribution of responsibilities between the Coordination Council members will allow us to quickly establish interaction at all levels in order to deliver on time everything that our servicemen may need.

Mr President, separately I will discuss special personal protective equipment and materials for them as it is an important issue. It is important to increase their production and to launch full-scale production of uniforms and clothing items to fully provide mobilised citizens with all they may need. The light industry capacities, including small businesses in the regions, and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation must be involved in this. Uninterrupted supplies of raw materials, materials, fabrics must be organised as well.

The Defence Ministry’s technical requests for equipment and, accordingly, compliance control measures were brought to the attention of each contractor.

The Government acted quickly to allocate additional funds to buy necessary types of uniforms, and the contract-signing procedure is in full swing. We need to make sure that our defenders’ needs for equipment are covered in full.

Mr President, the Coordination Council will work on a regular basis, and we will report to you weekly on the decisions it makes as per the Executive Order.

Thank you for your attention.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Please, Mr Sobyanin.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin: Good afternoon, Mr President, colleagues,

Mr President, following your instruction we established a State Council working group that included all regions of the Russian Federation, as well as representatives of the Government and special services.

We are working in four key areas. The first one deals with Presidential executive orders on developing levels of response to arising threats. This is complicated technical and organisational work involving all security departments and the Government. In the majority of regions, this work is conducted in a calm, planned out manner, without any emergency measures. Nonetheless, in a number of regions, especially in the border areas like the Belgorod Region, it is necessary to take additional response measures and we are working on them both with the regions and the Government of the Russian Federation.

The second area is assistance to the Defence Ministry in setting up places for accommodation and training of mobilised personnel in accordance with your instruction. At present, we have organised accommodation for about 60,000 with the assistance of the Russian Federation regions. This is a big job and we will continue to work on it. Today, we also talked with the Defence Ministry to coordinate these efforts in view of the experience gained so far.

Many regions are providing the Defence Ministry with material and technical support. Today, we also spoke at the Government Commission meeting with the Defence Ministry about the need to coordinate this work to make it more effective.

The third area is probably the most important one – social support for the families of mobilised personnel. I am referring to targeted support – material, legal and psychological assistance, sending children to kindergartens and schools with the most convenient location for families of the military personnel. This also includes job seeking and professional development for wives of mobilised personnel. There are also systemic measures – zero payment for kindergartens, afterschool childcare, hobby and sports groups and the like. This practically means zeroing out the eligibility criteria for the payment of children’s allowances and a number of other benefits.

We will conduct all this work consistently with the Government and the regions of the Russian Federation. The overwhelming majority of regions are already taking these measures or have already taken them.

The fourth area that Mr Mishustin has just mentioned concerns joint actions to support the defence industry and assistance in deploying additional capacities to produce everything that the army needs.

One more area is helping the Defence Ministry to build military facilities. A number of regions have already joined this work.

Thank you. That concludes my report.

Vladimir Putin: I will say a few words in conclusion.

What do I want to say? The work in the format we are now discussing and in which we met has been going on for a week. This is a short interval and, of course, a draft of the Coordination Council’s target task may not yet be ready for objective reasons. Still, I am asking you to get this done as soon as possible.

It is clear that not much time has elapsed, as I have already said. But where should your main focus be?

We need higher rates of work in all areas and the most realistic assessment of the situation, the state of affairs overall. As I have already said in the very beginning, in my opening remarks, this is not only about the special military operation. This is about all our work practically in all areas.

We are trying to do this, to arrange this work in a new way, to make administration more efficient in all areas of our activities since our fight against coronavirus. Now we are facing new challenges that are serious and considerable. I will repeat that this concerns the activities of law-enforcement bodies, the security wing, and the Defence Ministry, but this also concerns the entire civilian component. Therefore, I would like to ask all of you to set your minds on doing meaningful work in the new format.

If we follow standard bureaucratic procedures and hide behind formalities, we will not achieve the desired result in any area. We established a mechanism like the Coordination Council with the express purpose of resolving all issues faster and more effectively.

Furthermore, we cannot just follow previously established standards in our work. They were created who knows when in completely different circumstances. And so, I would like to draw your attention to the following point – standards are important but we should either change them or adapt them quickly to the current conditions – of course, without any violations of the law. That said, we must be guided by the real situation and real needs in different areas.

As far as the special military operation is directly concerned, kits, special gear and other special equipment must not be simply available but must be modern, easy to use and effective. There must be a clear-cut specific plan of work in every area.

Incidentally, the producers – and many are doing this, I know – should receive feedback on the spot. They should know what they are doing and how this affects real life in this or other fields. It is necessary to know the opinion of those for whom our plants and design bureaus work. This concerns not only companies, their management and specialists but, colleagues, this concerns also the members of your Council. You should also receive first-hand information. I know that some of you are already doing this now. I would like to ask you to continue this practice and expand it.

To achieve a fundamentally different, new result, it is not enough to follow the well-trodden path, cooperating only with a narrow circle of customary contractors. I have already said this several times. It is necessary to toughen competition. There should appear new producers – efficient, with modern equipment and ready to work in the required new format and produce products with the quality we need. This concerns medicine. This concerns the construction sector in the broadest sense of this word.

And, of course, support for the regions is a separate issue. I am asking the Finance Ministry jointly with the State Council Commission under Sergei Sobyanin’s guidance to determine the required level of support for the regions that need it more than others in the current conditions. I am hoping this work will be organised just like we managed to organise things up to this point. I have no doubts that it will be organised in the best possible way and will produce a positive result.

Thank you. We will be in constant contact with you on the areas which we gathered here today to discuss.

Thank you.

October 25, 2022, The Kremlin, Moscow