According to the MoD, a shortage could be a “key reason” while Russian forces have failed to generate “operationally significant offensive action.”
In its assessment, the MoD concludes that Russian forces are “almost certainly” resorting to using older ammunition that had been previously deemed unusable.
A March 3 presidential decree gave the Russian Ministry of Trade and Industry the power to remove any defense industry head who fails to perform production tasks, the MoD noted. Such a decree indicates that the Kremlin is “increasingly applying” command economy principles to the defense industry as it discovers that Russia’s military production is “a key vulnerability” in continuing the war of attrition in Ukraine.
However, Ukrainian forces are also saddled by shortages.
In a recent interview with the German outlet “Bild,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the country’s ammunition shortages as the “number one problem” in its fight against Russia.
According to Kuleba, German arms manufacturers told him during the Munich Security Conference in February that they were prepared to deliver much-needed supplies to Ukraine but had to wait until the German government signed the contracts.
While he insisted that Ukraine wasn’t expecting allies in the West to provide fighter jets any time soon, Kuleba said that Ukrainian pilots should be trained now so they are ready if and when that decision is made.
In a meeting in Stockholm earlier this month, EU defense ministers agreed to increase the supply of ammunition. But no “concrete and formal decision” has yet been reached.
On Monday, Twitter user @wartranslated shared a video showing a government official from the Rostov region of Russia complaining about the ammunition shortages facing Russian forces, which he suggested could be sabotage.