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Russia lacks troops, ammunition for major offensive in Ukraine, NATO official tells Reuters

by Martin Fornusek July 10, 2024 9:55 AM 2 min read
Russian soldiers take part in a parade for Victory Day in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2023. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia lacks the munitions and soldiers needed to launch a new major offensive in Ukraine, Reuters reported on July 9, citing an undisclosed senior NATO official.

Speaking ahead of the NATO summit in Washington, the official told reporters that Russia has suffered "very high" losses as it attempts to utilize limited territorial gains.

Russia's new May offensive in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast has effectively ground to a halt, but Moscow's troops maintain their pressure in Donetsk Oblast, pushing into the town of Chasiv Yar.

"What they are having to do is order undermanned, inexperienced units to move into areas to achieve unrealistic objectives," the official reportedly said.

"To sustain real offensive operations, we think that Russia would have to secure significant ammunition supplies from countries beyond what it is already getting from Iran and from North Korea," the source noted, adding that a new wave of mobilization would also be necessary.

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Moscow has deepened military cooperation with Tehran and Pyongyang during the full-scale war.

While Iran provided Russia with Shahed drones used to attack Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, North Korea has reportedly supplied Russia with ballistic missiles and millions of artillery shells and even dispatched military instructors to the country.

According to the source, Ukrainian defenses have improved significantly, albeit also suffering heavy losses. It will take some time before Kyiv accumulates enough resources to launch its own counter-offensive, the official noted.

Kyiv's military found itself in a difficult position earlier this year due to delays in U.S. assistance. President Volodymyr Zelensky said last week that while the American Congress finally approved the $61-billion aid package, the military equipment is flowing to Ukraine only slowly.

The head of state said that, at the moment, it is not appropriate to talk about a Ukrainian counteroffensive as Kyiv must focus on protecting what it has. Any pushback against Russian forces will be possible once sufficient weapons arrive, he added.

Kyiv can push Russia out of southern Ukraine if US lifts restrictions on deep strikes, Zelensky says
“Imagine how much we can achieve when all restrictions are lifted,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Washington.

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