According to a US intelligence finding, Russia is purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to use in the ongoing battle in Ukraine.
It has been over 6 months since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The war that Russia thought would be over in weeks is turning out to be long and ugly one.
US intelligence officials believe the Russians could try to acquire additional North Korean military equipment in the future, reported The New York Times.
What does the finding say: "The Russian Ministry of Defense is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use on the battlefield in Ukraine," a US official said in a statement.
"This purchase indicates that the Russian military continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, due to export controls and sanctions," a US official told AFP.
Why Russia needs weapons from North Korea: Since the sanctions from the West started against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, North Korea has been one of the few countries which has supported Russia. North Korea has also offered to send labour to help in construction in areas in Ukraine captured by Russia.
Western sanctions have made it harder for Moscow to acquire components to manufacture replacements for arms and ammunition.
US says Putin is getting desperate: US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was buying drones from Iran, now he's going to buy artillery rounds from North Korea, reported AP. Kirby said that it's an indication of how desperate Putin's becoming.
VIDEO: President Vladimir Putin attends large-scale military exercises involving China and several Russia-friendly countries.— AFP News Agency (@AFP) September 7, 2022
The military drills, called Vostok-2022, started on September 1 and are due to take place until September 7 in Russia's Far East pic.twitter.com/g8Yq8uVVxv
"It's an indication of how much his defence industrial establishment is suffering as a result of this war and the degree of desperation that he's reaching out to countries like Iran and North Korea for assistance," he told reporters Tuesday," he said.
Russia using Iranian drones: The US had earlier confirmed that Russian military took delivery of Iranian-manufactured drones in August and it faced technical problems with Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series, reported The Guardian.
On Monday, Yuriy Ignat, a spokesperson for Ukraine's air force, said the Iranian-made drones could carry three times more munitions than the Turkish-made Bayaktars used by Ukrainian forces, reported Ukraine's Espreso TV.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Putin had ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on a 'special military operation' on February 24. The operation turned into a full-fledged war in a few days, and since then tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions have been displaced, and it has affected the economy of the entire world.
Ukraine's military chief has said nearly 9,000 soldiers have died since Russia invaded Ukraine. US intelligence estimates that some 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed so far in Ukraine. The latest UN figures found 5,514 civilian deaths in Ukraine as of August 15, 2022.