Russia Still ‘Far Short’ of Artillery Shells Despite Production Boost: West

Russia is still far short of the artillery shells needed for the Ukraine war despite plans to boost production starting next year, a Western official has claimed.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official revealed that Moscow will produce two million more shells annually to help its frontline forces.

However, he said the figures are still insufficient because President Vladimir Putin’s military fired between 10 and 11 million rounds last year in the war-torn nation.

“That’s the predicament they’ve got,” the official stated, as quoted by Reuters. “If you expended 10 million rounds last year and you’re in the middle of a fight and you can only produce 1 to 2 million rounds a year, I don’t think that’s a very strong position.”

Last month, a Russian defense firm announced that it would ramp up production of Krasnopol-M2 guided artillery shells by 25 times to cope with frontline demands.

It will also reportedly upgrade the shell’s accuracy to reduce shell consumption.

Tank Production Also ‘Not Enough’

Besides artillery shells, Russia will boost its tank production to continue fighting in Ukraine.

Recent defense investments in Moscow would allow the country to produce 200 tanks a year, twice that initially estimated by the West.

However, despite the boost, the unnamed official claimed that the number is a “far cry” from what Moscow needs after suffering heavy losses.

“When you’ve lost 2,000 tanks, you’ve got a decade before you get to where you started,” he said.

Russian forces have lost more than two-thirds of their tanks in Ukraine since the invasion began in February 2022, according to an intelligence report by open-source website Oryx.

destroyed Russian tank
A Ukrainian soldier walks past a destroyed Russian tank. Photo: Anatolii Stepanov / AFP

North Korea to the Rescue?

The US claimed last year that North Korea was covertly sending a significant amount of artillery munitions to Russia.

Pyongyang was reportedly concealing the actual destination of the arms shipments, making it appear they were being sent to the Middle East or North Africa.

North Korea denied the claim, saying it never exported weapons or ammunition to Moscow to replenish its stockpiles.

But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is now in Russia to meet Putin and potentially discuss arms supply, according to US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.

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