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Eastern Express 13.09

Russia’s war machine has gotten seriously out of breath. Judging by the way artillery was used in the war with Ukraine, it seems Putin’s generals must have decided to make it their main weapon of attack. But this “special operation” was supposed to be a short affair and yet today we are looking at a scenario of Russians running out of ammunition. How are they dealing with all this?

According to US intelligence data, Russia has recently made arms and ammunition purchases from Iran and North Korea. Both countries are under a regime of international sanctions and do not comply with the sanctions imposed on Russia. The Iranian purchases involved several hundred Iranian combat drones. Furthermore, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Iranian companies that were supposed to deliver the drones to Russia on September 8.

North Korea, on the other hand, is expected to supply Russia with artillery and rocket munitions, still produced in line with Soviet technology. Russia may also be interested in “additional offensive equipment” of North Korean manufacture. Moscow’s turn to Pyongyang is prompted by the heavy consumption of artillery ammunition stocks during the war in Ukraine and the destruction by HIMARS systems of a number of Russian army ammunition depots on the immediate frontline.

According to commentators, this also means that the sanctions imposed on Moscow are working and have severely damaged Russian supply chains.

In the current war, the rate of utilisation of artillery munitions reaches 40-60,000 shells of all types per day in high-intensity phases of fighting, and up to 24,000 per day in lower-intensity phases. Meanwhile, the rate of production of new shells or restoration of combat utility of old post-Soviet ones is much lower.

The increasing use of S-300 anti-aircraft systems to attack ground targets is a measure of Russian failure here. According to a communiqué from the General Staff of Ukraine, the Russians have already used more than 500 such missiles, some of which have not even reached their targets.

Eastern Express’ guest

Jacek Raubo, PhD, an expert with, was invited to be TVP World’s guest and shed more light on the issue.

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