Russia’s reinforcements: Where Putin has found more weapons and troops as Ukraine invasion drags on

Russia’s lack of weapons and military forces has forced Russia to turn to other rogue states and some surprising resources to continue its invasion of Ukraine.

Analysts predicted that Russia’s invasion would last only days or weeks, relying on a superior military with vast reserves and a tremendous advantage in manpower, but nine months later, Moscow is looking to secure weapons and troops from other countries.

“Russia was clearly not prepared for the nine-month war it’s now fighting in Ukraine,” Rebecca Koffler, head of the Doctrine and Strategy Advisory and former DIA intelligence officer, told Fox News Digital. Putin thought the project would last one to two weeks. [and] Russian intelligence failed to accurately estimate Zelensky’s ability to win Western support, the Ukrainians’ will to fight, the willingness of the United States and Europe to provide unprecedented levels of security assistance, and the tactical limitations of Russian forces.

Experts have previously told Fox News Digital how “corruption” has undermined the Russian military, with oligarchs allegedly pocketing money instead of investing in the military in the past three decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union. they hit

Rebecca Koffler

Rebecca Koffler
(Rebecca Koffler)

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And Ukraine, with heavy investment from the United States and its NATO allies, bolstered its logistics and helped level the battlefield for months, allowing Ukraine to push back Russian forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin was forced to withdraw his forces to the eastern borders and focus on locking down “rebellious” states in Ukraine after failing to capture any major strategic objectives.

But now Russia is beginning to build a coalition of its allies, even as those allies try to keep their support muted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, front right, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Russian Fleet Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Yumenov, back right, ride on a boat during the Navy Day parade, July 31, 2022, in San Petersburg, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, front right, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Russian Fleet Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Yumenov, back right, ride on a boat during the Navy Day parade, July 31, 2022, in San Petersburg, Russia.
(Contributor/Getty Images)

“Russia has already fired 3,000 to 4,000 missiles into Ukraine, more than expected, with hundreds of missiles fired in the past two weeks targeting critical Ukrainian infrastructure to disrupt electricity and water supplies ahead of winter,” Koffler explained. slow He added that “Russia’s missile arsenal is almost certainly running out” and that the current inventory is “probably” less than 40 percent of pre-war levels.

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The United States on Wednesday accused North Korea of ​​secretly supplying Russia with artillery shells, and reports over the past month showed how Iran first delivered Shahid-136 Kamikaze drones to Russia and then trained Russian forces to use them. New reports indicate that Iran has added Mohajer-6 and Shahid-129 drones to its shipments.

According to Reuters, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said in a virtual conference that North Korea tried to hide the shipments by sending them through countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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“Our indications are that North Korea is secretly supplying, and we want to investigate whether shipments are being received,” Kirby said.

“We know where they’re going to move these bullets,” Kirby said. He declined to provide further details because the United States is considering its possible options. But he insisted the weapons were unlikely to change the momentum or outcome of the war.

Russian self-propelled artillery vehicles roll during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia on May 9.

Russian self-propelled artillery vehicles roll during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia on May 9.
(AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) reported that Iran may even increase its support and provide Russia with short-range ballistic missiles, a move that would signal any economic aid to Tehran through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). . Known as the Iran nuclear deal – it would eventually lead to Russian war financing and the easing of US sanctions.

With reports that Iran plans to send short-range ballistic missiles to Russia to use against Ukraine — and with Iranians clamoring for regime change in the streets — the U.S. and its European allies should withdraw all offers of sanctions relief. In an analysis published on Wednesday, FDD Senior Advisor Richard Goldberg wrote: To Tehran and the completion of UN sanctions in the Security Council.

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This transfer includes Fateh-110 and Zulfiqar short-range ballistic missiles. The Fateh-110 can reach a range of 150 to 180 miles, while the Zulfiqar can potentially reach targets at a distance of 435 miles.

Iran has already sent more than 3,500 UAVs to Russia, most of which are produced in factories run by the Iranian Ministry of Defense and the Iranian Aerospace Industries Association (IASIA).

Russian military vehicles drive on a highway in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces near Mariupol, Ukraine, in late April.

Russian military vehicles drive on a highway in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces near Mariupol, Ukraine, in late April.
(AP/Alexei Alexandrov)

Guns alone will not win the war, as Putin also sought to replenish his depleted forces. After months of silence on the actual number of casualties, CIA chief William Burns and British intelligence chief Richard Moore revealed that Russia had lost around 15,000 troops in the first five months of the invasion.

“We’ve been seeing efforts for months by Russia to deploy some kind of version of the Foreign Legion, from certain communities by Wagner’s group on the ground, from Syria, from Libya, from the Central African Republic,” Goldberg told Fox News. Digital. We have also heard reports of Serbs fighting on the pro-Russian side.

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“[One of] Goldberg explained: “The main motivation for the Russians to do this is that they will quickly demobilize their forces.”

He added: “So as much as they can rely on foreign forces to do the job, instead of Russian corpses coming to their families’ homes, non-Russians fight and die, that’s their preference.” Expensive and effective systems.

The armed forces of Russia and Belarus participated in a military exercise in Gomel, Belarus, February 19.

The armed forces of Russia and Belarus participated in a military exercise in Gomel, Belarus, February 19.
(Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Putin attempted to supplement his forces by declaring a “partial mobilization” through conscription, but many Russian men chose to flee the country rather than join Putin’s war in Ukraine.

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Russia had already absorbed Chechen fighters in the early stages of the Ukraine war, after it became clear that the conflict would not end as soon as Putin had believed, and that it needed more commitment.

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In the following months, reports began to emerge of Russia contacting friendly countries and seeking assistance. The New York Times reported in April that Putin was eyeing Syrian and Georgian fighters to bolster his forces.

Several Afghan military and security sources said last week that elite soldiers from the National Army’s commando forces joined Russian forces after the United States left 20,000 to 30,000 troops behind following its military withdrawal.

Ukrainian firefighters put out a fire after a strike in Zaporizhzhia on October 6, 2022, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian firefighters put out a fire after a strike in Zaporizhzhia on October 6, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
(Marina Moizenko/AFP via Getty Images)

Foreign Policy reported that about 10,000 former commandos were initially inclined to accept Russia’s offer.

Goldberg likened the growing Russian coalition to the Ukrainian International Legion that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy created at the start of the conflict. In the first week, it attracted 20,000 volunteers from 52 countries.

Moscow is running out of both hardware and military personnel and must fill the gaps with non-native capabilities. This country procures weapons from Iran and North Korea and relies on mercenary groups, Wagner group, Chechen fighters, Kadyrov to complete it. Koffler said that its regular forces. “They even recruit prisoners and bring in former Afghan security forces who were displaced when the Taliban returned to power after the US withdrawal.

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Despite all these restrictions, Putin is not backing down. On the contrary, he is preparing for an all-out war with the US and NATO and turning to an asymmetric strategy.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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