Russian President Vladimir Putin, faced with military production delays and increased battlefield casualtiesurged his government to cut bureaucracy to produce enough weapons and supplies to feed his troops in Ukraine, where a Ukrainian counteroffensive has brought Russian forces to their heels.
Russian army supply shortages in the eight month war were so pronounced that Putin had to create a structure to try to remedy them.
On Tuesday, Putin chaired a new committee designed to speed up the production and delivery of weapons and supplies for Russian troops, and stressed the need to “take a higher pace in all areas”.
Russian media have acknowledged that many of those mobilized to fight in Ukraine – a figure the Russian president said was 222,000 out of an initial target of 300,000 – have not received adequate basic equipment, such as medical kits and bulletproof vests, and had to find their own supplies.
Last week, Putin tried to show that all was well by visiting a training site in Russia where he was shown well-equipped soldiers.
Other reports suggest that Russian troops are increasingly forced to use old and sometimes unreliable equipment, and that some of the newly mobilized troops have been rushed to the front lines in the war with little training.
To replace increasingly scarce Russian-made long-range precision weapons, Britain’s MoD said Russia is likely to resort to using large numbers of drones to try to penetrate air defenses Ukrainians.
Russia’s “artillery ammunition is running out,” the ministry said in a report on Tuesday.
The Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of Warfare said “the slower pace of Russian air, missile and drone strikes may reflect dwindling missile and drone stockpiles and the “limited effectiveness of strikes in achieving Russian strategic military objectives”.
Despite supply problems, The Russian army inflicted massive damage and heavy casualties in Ukraine, destroying homes, public buildings and the Ukrainian power grid. The World Bank estimates the damage to Ukraine so far at 350 billion euros ($348 billion).
According to the United Nations, from the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24 to the beginning of October, 15,246 civilian casualties were recorded in Ukraine. Of these, 6,114 people were killed and 9,132 injured. About 7.7 million Ukrainians have fled the country and are now living as refugees across Europe, according to the UN.
Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday that his country’s support for Ukraine would be unwavering and “as strong as ever under his tenure as prime minister”, a Downing Street spokesman said. .
Sunak’s predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss had vocally pledged full support for the war-torn country and the new prime minister said UK military assistance would be as “strong as ever” under his leadership.
“The prime minister said… President Zelenskyy could count on his government to stand together,” the spokesperson said.
Zelenskyy said in his nightly video speech that he had invited Sunak to visit Ukraine.
A senior Ukrainian official predicted Tuesday evening that “the heaviest of battles” is yet to come for the Russian-occupied strategic southern province of Khersonwhere he declared that the army of Moscow was engaged to face the counter-offensive of Ukraine.
The region’s capital and river port, Kherson, which had a pre-war population of around 280,000, is the largest urban center Russia has held since its capture at the start of the invasion of Ukraine eight years ago. month.
Ukrainian forces do not appear to have gained much ground in their counteroffensive in the Kherson region since early October.
“With Kherson, everything is clear. The Russians are rebuilding, strengthening their grouping there,” Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in an online video late Tuesday.
“It means no one is preparing to step down. On the contrary, the heaviest of battles is going to take place for Kherson,” according to Arestovitch, who did not specify when the battle might take place.
One of Moscow’s allies on Tuesday urged Russia to step up the pace and scale of Ukraine’s destruction.
Ramzan Kadirov, the regional leader of Chechnya who sent troops to fight in Ukraine, urged Moscow to wipe out entire cities in retaliation for Ukrainian bombing of Russian territory.
“Our response was too weak,” Kadyrov said on his messaging app channel.
“If a shell flies into our area, entire towns must be wiped off the face of the earth so they never think they can fire in our direction,” he said.