Russia’s reinforcements: Where Putin has found more weapons and troops as Ukraine invasion drags on

Russia’s shortage of weapons and troops has led it to turn to other rogue states and some surprising sources in an effort to sustain its invasion of Ukraine.

Confident in a superior military with vast supplies and vast manpower, Russia predicted that the invasion would last only days or weeks, but nine months later, Moscow sought arms and troops from other countries.

“Russia is clearly not prepared for the nine months of fighting it’s fighting in Ukraine right now,” Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former DIA intelligence official, told Fox News Digital. “Putin thought it was a one- to two-week project,” he said. [and] Western support of Zelenskyy by Russian intelligence; The wishes of Ukrainian citizens Russian intelligence failed to accurately estimate the willingness to provide security assistance and the tactical limitations of Russian forces.

In the past three decades since the fall of the Soviet Union, instead of investing in the military, rampant corruption has plagued Russia’s military, experts told Fox News Digital.

Rebekah Fla

Rebekah Fla
(Rebecca Flair)

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Ukraine has bolstered its own supply chain with significant investment from the United States and its NATO allies, allowing Ukraine to push back Russian forces and stabilize the battlefield for months. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been forced to withdraw his troops to the eastern border and focus on a blockade, primarily targeting rebel states in Ukraine.

But Russia is now beginning to build its alliance, even as it tries to keep their support quiet.

Russian President Vladimir Putin  front right  Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu;  Nikolai Yevmenov, left, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy;  back right  July 31 in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Boarded the boat during the 2022 Navy Day parade.

Russian President Vladimir Putin front right Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu; Nikolai Yevmenov, left, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy; back right July 31 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Boarded the boat during the 2022 Navy Day parade.
(Contributor/Getty Images)

“Russia has launched hundreds of missiles over the last two weeks targeting critical infrastructure in Ukraine to disrupt electricity and water supplies ahead of winter, and has fired 3,000 to 4,000 missiles into Ukraine, far more than expected,” Koffler explained. “Russia’s missile arsenal is almost certainly near destruction,” she added, adding that the current stockpile is probably less than 40% of pre-war levels.

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The United States accused North Korea of ​​secretly supplying Russia with artillery shells on Wednesday, and reports in the past month have indicated that Iran has supplied Russia with Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones and trained Russian troops to use them. New reports indicate that Iran has added Mohajer-6 and Shahed-129 drones to its exports.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told Reuters that North Korea had tried to hide the ships by sending them to countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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“Our indications are that we will look to see if the DPRK is covertly supporting and receiving shipments,” Kirby said, adding that Washington would consult the United Nations on accountability issues over the shipments.

“We have an understanding of where they’re going to transfer these weapons,” Kirby said. The U.S. declined to provide further details as it weighs its possible options. But he insisted that the weapons were unlikely to change the pace or outcome of the war.

Russian unmanned artillery vehicles roll in during a Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, on May 9.

Russian unmanned artillery vehicles roll in during a Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, on May 9.
(AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The Foundation for Democratic Defense (FDD) said in a report that Iran may increase its aid and supply short-range ballistic missiles to Russia. The move also indicated that any economic relief from Tehran would come through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Known as the Iran nuclear deal – it would have reduced Russia’s war financing and US sanctions.

“With reports of Iran planning to send short-range ballistic missiles to Russia to attack Ukraine, all sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European allies should be lifted as Iranians take to the streets for regime change. The Security Council will fully implement UN sanctions against Tehran,” FDD senior adviser Richard Goldberg wrote in an analysis published Wednesday.

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It will include Fateh-110 and Zulfiqar short-range ballistic missiles. The Fateh-110 can reach a range of 150 to 180 miles, while the Zulfiqar can reach targets within 435 miles.

More than 3,500 drones have already been delivered to Russia, most of them manufactured at factories run by Iran’s Ministry of Defense and the Iran Aviation and Space Industry Association (IASIA).

Ukraine  Russian military vehicles move on a highway in late April in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces near Mariupol.

Ukraine Russian military vehicles move on a highway in late April in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces near Mariupol.
(AP/Alexei Alexandrov)

As Putin seeks to consolidate his power, he cannot win a war with weapons alone. After months of silence about the exact number of casualties, CIA Director William Burns and British intelligence chief Richard Moore reported that the Russians had lost about 15,000 troops in the first five months of the invasion.

“For months, Russia has been trying to recruit their own version of communities from the Wagner Group in the field, from Syria, from Libya, from the Central African Republic,” Goldberg told Fox News. Digital. “We hear reports of Serbia fighting on the pro-Russian side.”

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“[One of] The main motivation for the Russians to do this is that they’re quickly decimating their forces,” Goldberg explained. “They’re operating as a backup call, and they don’t have to continue to tax the Russian population as much as possible.

“So to the extent that they can rely on foreign troops, that’s their priority rather than fighting non-Russians and sending dead Russian bodies back to their families,” Putin said Trump was trying. – cost; High impact systems.

Putin has tried to bolster his forces by forcing conscription, declaring it a “partial mobilization,” but many Russians have decided to flee the country rather than join Putin’s war in Ukraine.

In the early stages of the war in Ukraine, Russia attracted Chechen fighters and it became clear that the conflict would require more commitment once Putin believed it would not end.

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In the following months there were reports of Russia reaching out to friendly countries and seeking reinforcements. The New York Times reported in April that Putin had approached Syrian and Georgian fighters to bolster his forces.

Several Afghan military and security sources said soldiers from the elite National Army commando unit had begun joining Russian forces after the U.S. pulled out of its army last week, leaving behind 20,000 to 30,000 members.

Ukrainian firefighters put out a fire after an attack in Zaporizhzhia on October 6, 2022 during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian firefighters put out a fire after an attack in Zaporizhzhia on October 6, 2022 during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
(Marina Moiseyenko/AFP via Getty Images)

About 10,000 former commandos were initially willing to accept Russia’s offer, Foreign Policy reported.

Goldberg compared Russia’s growing alliance to the International Legion of Ukraine, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy established. In the first week, 20,000 volunteers from 52 countries were recruited.

“Moscow lacks the military equipment and personnel to fill the gaps with non-indigenous talent. It buys weapons from Iran and North Korea, and to supplement it with mercenaries, the Wagner Group, Chechen fighters, Kadyrov, its regular forces,” Koffler said.

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“Despite all these restrictions, Putin will not back down. On the contrary, he is preparing for an all-out attack with the US and NATO, and is switching to an asymmetric strategy.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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