Although Britain, the United States, and Ukraine have asserted to the contrary, Moscow’s stockpile is clearly not exhausted, the New York Times writes.
The New York Times on November 18 offered four possible explanations for how Russia was able to launch a large series of missiles into Ukraine this week, after the government in Kiev, the Pentagon, and British intelligence. spent months asserting that Moscow’s stockpiles were running low.
Last month, Ukraine claimed that Russia had used up 70% of its pre-war missile stockpile, the Times noted, while the British Ministry of Defense said the October 10 attack targeted its infrastructure. Ukraine “has the ability to limit its ability to strike as many targets as it desires.”
The November 15 attack, which the Times described as the “biggest aerial attack” in the conflict to date, with 96 missiles, “raises the question of how Russia’s arsenal could be exhausted.” how much is depleted and whether Moscow can endure it by finding alternative sources of weapons.”
One explanation comes from the Pentagon, which claims that Russia ran out of missiles as early as May. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on November 16 that Russia was “reaching out” to Iran and North Korea to replenish its ammunition stockpiles, although the Pentagon itself has publicly said otherwise.
However, Moscow, Tehran, and Pyongyang all deny this. Meanwhile, the US is said to be trying to buy artillery shells for Kiev from South Korea.
Another possibility is based on Ukraine’s claim that Russia used S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to hit targets on the ground. Unverified claims follow Kiev’s attempt to blame Moscow for the November 15 S-300 attack on the Polish village of Przewodow and the killing of two civilians.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin announced domestic efforts to increase the production of equipment and systems “related to providing support for special military operations” in Ukraine.
British intelligence firm Janes said it believes Russia is actually building more missiles, possibly using spare chips and other technology that has been embargoed by the US and its allies for years.
According to Janes, Russia “may have started mass production of Iskander, Kalibr, and cruise missiles” before February and they are “likely under production as we speak”, with industry Russian defense operates around the clock.
Mark Cancian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank in Washington notes that very few people in the West know how many missiles Russia has in its stockpile and that Moscow may be holding back some weapons. in the event of an open war with NATO.