Monday, April 3, 2023

Moscow Keeps Raising Budget for Prosthetic Limbs But Not Keeping Up with Casualty Losses in Ukraine

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 2 – In 2022, the Russian government budgeted 37 billion rubles (500 million US dollars) for prosthetic devices to help troops who have lost arms and legs in the fighting in Ukraine. This year, it has upped that figure to 44 billion rubles (550 million US dollars) and says it is ready to spend even more.

            But it appears problems in the production of prosthetic devices inside Russia, problems exacerbated by sanctions, mean even these increases aren’t sufficient to meet demand. As a result, ever more veterans will suffer and ever more Russians will see the tragic consequences of Putin’s war (

            Government producers of prosthetic devices in Russia generally are putting out the old-fashioned kind, while private firms are producing the bionic kinds that most victims prefer. These firms are expecting to rake in enormous profits in the coming months. But their hopes may be dashed as well.

            On the one hand, many can’t import either completed prosthetics or components for them from abroad and lack the technology to produce what the victims of the war want. And on the other – and this is especially serious – Moscow won’t let either the prosthetics or those who wear them travel abroad for fittings and adjustments as required.

            Russia’s prosthetic industry was in trouble even before the war in Ukraine entered its most violent phases ( Now, the situation is worse: many veterans are going to suffer, and many ordinary Russians are going to see one aspect of the cost of the conflict Putin has led them into.

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