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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Force Cuts Warning

MOSCOW () -- Scarce government funding has left the air force short of fuel and flying experience, resulting in an increase in crashes, a high-ranking military commander said Wednesday.

"Lack of a government policy aimed at strengthening the air force leads to a significant fall in combat readiness, with planes crashing and pilots dying nearly every month,'' Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Boris Gromov told the daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

This year there have been at least 20 air force accidents killing 80 people, Gromov said. He blamed the crashes on pilots' diminished skills, which in turn he blamed on insufficient fuel.