The Russian Defense Ministry is buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to bolster its forces in Moscow’s war in Ukraine, according to a US official.
The official told The Hill that the assessment, which is based on declassified US intelligence, is a sign that Moscow is suffering from “serious” military supply shortages due in part to export controls and economic sanctions imposed by the US. United States and its allies to punish Moscow. for his invasion of Ukraine.
The United States expects Russia to buy more North Korean military equipment in the future, the official said, without providing further details on the type of equipment. The New York Times was the first to report intelligence suggesting that Moscow was buying North Korean equipment.
Pentagon spokesman Brig. General Pat Ryder confirmed that the United States had “indications that Russia has approached North Korea to request ammunition”.
“I am unable to provide more details than this at this time, but it demonstrates and is indicative of the situation Russia finds itself in, in terms of logistical and support capabilities as it relates to Ukraine.” , he added. he said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
“Certainly, as has been said, we assess that things are not going well on this front for Russia, the fact that they are reaching out to North Korea is a sign that they have challenges on the front of sustainment.”
Russia has also turned to Iran to bolster its stockpile of weapons. Biden administration officials said in late August that Tehran had flown its first shipment of Mohajer-6 and Shahed series drones to Russia for battlefield use in Ukraine, but cited reports suggesting they had suffered mechanical failures.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to deepen relations with North Korea, which has been isolated due to international sanctions over its nuclear program since Moscow invaded Ukraine.
The United Nations currently prohibits Pyongyang from importing or exporting arms from or to other countries, which means that selling rockets and artillery shells to Russia would violate this arms embargo.
Ukraine, meanwhile, has relied on billions of dollars in equipment from the United States and other countries to supplement its own military as it fights back against the Russian onslaught.
Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine has spanned more than six months and has shown no signs of slowing down. Russia fell far short of expectations in its military strength, failing to achieve its original goal of capturing Kyiv.
Update: 12:53 p.m.
Ellen Mitchell contributed