Senior Russian leaders are likely aware that Russia’s military-industrial output is becoming a critical weakness, exacerbated by the strategic and operational miscalculation of the invasion of Ukraine, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Feb. 15.
Production is “almost certainly” falling short of Russia’s Defense Ministry’s needs in Ukraine, the ministry wrote, citing Deputy Security Council Chairman Dmitry Medvedev’s call to increase tank production and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s recent calls to support the war better.
"In a televised meeting on Jan. 12, Putin castigated Denis Manturov, the deputy prime minister, with responsibility for the defense industry, for 'fooling around'; one of the president's strongest public outbursts since the invasion."
Putin has started new offensive actions in Ukraine, “sending in thousands and thousands more troops,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Feb. 13, as quoted by the Financial Times.
“It is clear that we are in the race of logistics. Key capabilities like ammunition...must reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the initiative on the battlefield,” he said.
National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Feb. 11 that Russia has already begun its major offensive in Ukraine’s east, but it faces “big problems” with it.
“The offensive they planned is gradually proceeding. But it’s not the one they expected to have,” he added.
On Feb. 11, Ukraine’s General Staff reported that Moscow was strengthening its grouping of troops near Lyman and Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk Oblast. According to the General Staff, “despite significant losses,” Russia doesn’t give up its intention to occupy the entire Donbas, an industrial heartland comprising Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
On Feb. 2, Ukraine’s intelligence warned that Russia was redeploying additional assault groups and military equipment ahead of “a massive offensive” to occupy the entire Donbas by March.
As of Feb. 15, about half of Donetsk Oblast and most of Luhansk Oblast are under Russian control.