As Russia faces a shortage of weapons, delays in military production, and mounting losses on the battlefront in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for measures to cut through bureaucracy to produce enough weapons and supplies to feed the war effort.
The Russian military’s shortfalls in the eight-month war have been so pronounced that Putin had to create a structure to try to address them, Associated Press reported. Ukrainian authorities meanwhile believe that it will take Moscow at least five years to restore its pre-war stock of high-precision missiles.
“We need greater urgency in all areas and an extremely realistic assessment of the situation, the state of affairs as a whole. This applies not only to the special military operation but also to all our activity in virtually all areas,” President Putin said at a meeting of the Coordination Council for Meeting the Needs of the Special Military Operation formed to streamline federal and regional efforts for the war in Ukraine, Russia’s state-owned news agency TASS reported Tuesday.
Calling upon his officials to not hide behind formalities and standard bureaucratic procedures, Putin has asked “everyone to put their minds to meaningful work in the new format” under which the government currently operates.
“If we work adhering to standard bureaucratic procedures, hide behind formalities, we will not get the desired result in any area. The reason why we have created the mechanism of a coordinating council is to resolve all issues faster and more efficiently,” Putin added.
An update by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said the “slower tempo of Russian air, missile, and drone strikes possibly reflects decreasing missile and drone stockpiles and the strikes’ limited effectiveness of accomplishing Russian strategic military goals.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Chief, Major General Kyrylo Budanov claimed that Russian forces have used most of their cruise missile arsenal and only have 13 percent of their pre-war Iskander, 43 percent of Kaliber, and 45 percent of Kh-101 and Kh-555 pre-war stockpiles left, Ukrainska Pravda reported.
According to Budanov, the depletion of ammunition is one of the key reasons why Russian forces have stopped targeting Ukraine’s military infrastructure and instead targeted civilian infrastructure to incite panic and fear among Ukrainian citizens.
Terming it the “demilitarization of Russia,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov had earlier, on Oct. 14 tweeted an infographic on the kind of high-precision missiles Russia has been using against Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion and offered his estimate of what is left in the Russian arsenal.
On the question of Iranian-made drones used by Russian forces, GUR Chief, Budanov believes that Moscow has ordered about 1,700 drones of all types which are still being manufactured. He said Iran has been sending drones in batches of 300 units, and Russian forces are currently using the second such batch.
Russia has so far deployed Iranian Mohajer-6 and Shahed-136 drones, also referred to as kamikaze drones, to target civilian infrastructure and buildings. Meanwhile, it has been reported that Iran is now preparing its first consignment of short-range ballistic Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar missiles for Russia.
It was earlier reported that faced with global sanctions that have hampered its ability to maintain its military supply lines, Moscow was turning to pariah states like Iran and North Korea to buy shells and rockets. Fears have also been expressed that the depleting of military resources could force Putin to dip into Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal to achieve victory or at least freeze the conflict in Ukraine.