On Sunday, April 24, two months have passed since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, although the war with Moscowia has been going on for 8 years.
But over the past 62 days, the Kremlin has burned through so much of its equipment that it could be years before the terrorist country is ready for a new war, The Times reports.
Tanks and planes over several years
Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that in recent years Russia had produced about 250 tanks and 150 aircraft annually.
Ukrainian forces have destroyed the equivalent of at least two years of Russian tank production and one year’s supply of aircraft during two months of conflict, he said.
At the same time, if we count according to the data of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it’s about four years for tanks (Ukraine destroyed almost 1,000 pieces), but the figure more or less converges with aircraft (184 pieces were destroyed).
Russia spent up to 70% of high-precision missiles
Cancian is still analysing data for Russia’s missiles, but estimated the Kremlin may already have used several years worth of production against Ukrainian targets.
"It will take years for Russia to rebuild its inventories." he said.
As for the war with Ukraine, at some point that may come very soon, Russia will have to curb its use of long-range precision missiles.
The thing is, these missiles are expensive and rely on sophisticated electronics, and Russia’s inventories are getting low.
Bellingcat, the investigative website, reported on April 24 that the RF had probably used 70% of its stockpile of precision missiles.
Missile revenge for weapon supply
The outlet notes that the mammoth international effort to supply the Ukrainians with weapons, despite the significant losses of the Russian Federation, had not been neglected by the terrorist state.
On April 25, Russia hit critical transport infrastructure with high-precision in the space of an hour in five regions:
- Vinnytsia region;
- Poltava region;
- Khmelnytskyi region;
- Rivne region;
- and Zhytomyr region.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, a US think tank, the attacks appeared to be an attempt to disrupt Ukrainian reinforcements and logistics.
It could also be an attempt to demonstrate its ability to hit targets in the west of the country after Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, and Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense, visited Kyiv.
However, these strikes had no impact on the determination of the Americans to help Kyiv — on the contrary, at a meeting of allies from 40 countries at the US base in Ramstein, Germany, Austin said that the States would "move heaven and earth" to meet Kyiv’s needs and ensure the victory of Ukraine over the Russian Federation.
There will be no new tanks: Devil is in the details
Meanwhile, severe western sanctions are also likely to hinder Moscow’s ability to produce spare parts for existing kit and future weapons systems, the analysts believe.
Citing the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate (GUR), the outlet notes that Russia is struggling to produce more tanks because of financial sanctions and import restrictions.
As a result, production of T-72 main battle tanks had significantly slowed and production of T-90s and T-14 Armatas — Russia’s latest "next generation" tank — had stopped.
Soviet tins: They work, but worse
Russia is able to draw upon Soviet reserves that had been held in storage across the country for decades, Henry Boyd, a military analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said.
"They kept a large number of Soviet-era tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery," he recalled.
However, even if the Kremlin could reactivate ageing equipment in sufficient numbers, there would be a notable drop in its quality, the expert warned.
"There is a question mark over whether they will have the crews to man the vehicles and, if they do, whether they have had sufficient training," Boyd said.
Supply chains depend on smaller component parts, such as ball bearings, and there is doubt that the Russian Federation will be able to easily obtain them.
Ukraine: West will help, but supply is not endless
Ukraine’s ability to re-supply its personnel with equipment on the battlefield is less of an issue because they are getting a constant — and increasing — flow of weapons from the West, Cancian notes.
Tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons are arriving in the country daily.
For example, in the past week, the UK has supplied the Ukrainian with:
- 1,000 anti-tank weapons;
- 14 Wolfhound armoured vehicles;
- 4,000 pairs of night-vision goggles.
Britain seeks ammunition for Ukraine
The rapid supply of weaponry is leaving the donor countries short, the analysts add. Nicholas Drummond, a former British Army officer and defence analyst, said:
"We are basically giving away everything we’ve got, which is not much to start with."
There are also concerns that the Ukrainians have been at risk of running out of ammunition: the UK is now "scouring the earth" for 152mm artillery ammunition, which Ukraine’s military needs for their existing guns.
The Ukrainians have also asked for 155mm Nato-standard artillery ammunition, which Nato countries have far more of. They are supplied by the USA.
Kyiv can "see obsessed Putin off"
Although Russian forces outnumber Ukrainian forces by a factor of three, Vladimir Putin's obsession with getting some kind of victory by May 9 and the accelerated pace of the offensive are playing against him, analysts say.
According to the Minister of the Armed Forces of Britain, James Heappey, the battle groups redeployed from the Kyiv direction were not properly replenished:
"They’re not massing their forces before they start their offensive. As a consequence, I think that Ukrainians could well see them off."
- Context. Earlier, reported about how the new air defense from the West will help Ukraine defeat the Russian Federation.