Espreso. Global
Review

Russia is looking for resources for war against Ukraine worldwide. Serhiy Zgurets' column

20 June, 2024 Thursday
11:20

Russia's defense industry lacks the capacity for sustained combat, prompting efforts to secure resources worldwide, including Putin's visit to North Korea for arms and ammunition

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Northrop Grumman plans to produce ammunition in Ukraine

It's worth starting with the good news that came out of the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris. In particular, the American company Northrop Grumman plans to open a medium-caliber ammunition production facility in Ukraine. This project will be funded by $2 billion allocated by the United States to develop Ukraine's defense industry. So far, these are all the details available about this news. The timeframe, scope, and conditions of the project have not yet been disclosed. Regarding the nomenclature, medium-caliber ammunition encompasses all shells ranging from 20-mm to 50-mm. This primarily includes ammunition for automatic guns used in infantry fighting vehicles and various combat modules. The company has also stated its intention to increase production of tank ammunition and 155-mm shells.

It is worth noting that Northrop Grumman is one of the giants of the American defense industry. The company ranks third in terms of revenue, which exceeds $32 billion a year. It is also worth adding that since the beginning of this year, this is the third announcement of plans to build an ammunition plant in Ukraine. Rheimetal and the Czechoslovak Group have already announced this. We hope that all the announcements will be realized, as the occupying Russian army still has an advantage in artillery fire along the entire front line.

Combat actions in Kharkiv region: 3rd Brigade holds back Russian troops near Borova

The Russian superiority in artillery allows it to implement plans for a slow offensive. In particular, in the Kharkiv region, where the 3rd Brigade is currently operating. After the fighting in the Avdiivka direction, the brigade's units were redeployed to defend Borova. We have all seen the reports from the 3rd Brigade, which stated that despite the Russian superior strength and lack of reserves, the brigade's units have been holding the designated lines for over a month. According to the command of the 3rd Brigade, this section of the front is one of the most intense. Since the beginning of May, the 3rd Brigade has eliminated over 1,000 Russian soldiers and wounded twice as many. However, the Russians send reinforcements every week to compensate for the losses. One of the battalion commanders of the 3rd Brigade, Dmytro Kukharchuk, stated that Russia continues to actively assault Ukrainian positions. He noted that while Ukrainian forces have successfully repelled these attacks, none of the captured soldiers had served for more than a month. This suggests that the Russian army is quickly assembling assault battalions, but they are backed by substantial fire support.

Russians deploy last reserves to advance along entire frontline

Mykhailo Samus, an expert at the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies, believes that we have now reached a critical stage of the war. Russia will try to deploy the last of its reserves to advance on the frontline before the US presidential election. The main goal is to fully occupy Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Kherson regions. According to Samus, this is why they launched an offensive in the Kharkiv region to stretch the forces of the Ukrainian Army and try to break through from Vovchansk toward Kupyansk. This did not happen. However, as Samus emphasized, the Russian forces keep accumulating reserves in different parts of the frontline until Ukraine receives enough ammunition and has F-16s. This is also confirmed by Putin's ultimatums on the eve of the Peace Summit, which fully reflect the negotiation platform seen in Russia.

Russian military-industrial complex is not ready for active combat operations

Mykhailo Samus explained that although the capabilities of the Russian military-industrial complex are significant, they are not enough to actively conduct hostilities. That is why dictator Putin is trying to find support from Russia's allies. In particular, in the DPRK. Russia continues to look for additional resources around the world. Also, according to Samus, oil prices should be taken into account in the context of a war of attrition. Because when we talk about a war of attrition, we start counting the country's GDP. At first glance, it may seem that Russia is doing well in this component, but if oil prices change, Russia may lose its excess profits and, accordingly, the funds allocated to continue the war. In particular, payments to the mobilized and the production of military equipment. Samus emphasized that Russia, like Ukraine, has a critical situation with resources. That is why it is not worth stating that Russia can fight for several more years at the same pace.

 West increases the capacity of its defense industry

Mykhailo Samus also noted that since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there is a certain feeling that the West expects Kyiv to agree to Minsk-3. For the West, this would mean that there is no need to break the global security system that has existed for over 30 years. However, as Samus noted, the world's perception of the new security system is already being restructured. Not only the Russian military-industrial complex is being restructured, but Western countries are doing the same. Samus added that the NATO summit in Washington should be very interesting in this story, as it should decide on a $40 billion annual fund to increase the capacity of the NATO defense industry. If this decision is made, then, according to Samus, the war flywheel will spin with even greater force. Companies in the defense industry will be able to plan their production for years and increase the production of ammunition and equipment.

If Ukraine had received everything it needed, the war would have been over by now

Mykhailo Samus believes that "controlled escalation" is a wrong approach to warfare on the part of the United States. This war could have been prevented. According to Samus, after Biden's meeting with Putin in Geneva, it seemed that the Russian dictator promised the US president not to start a war against Ukraine. For this, he received a number of concessions from the United States. Then, in mid-2021, it became clear that the West was losing to Russia, and Moscow had implemented its strategy. Samus added that when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, it expected that the West would not be able to counteract it at all. However, after February 2022, the Biden administration gradually increased arms supplies to Ukraine with each stage of escalation by Russia. The expert noted that if the decision to provide Ukraine with all the necessary weapons had been made immediately after Russia's invasion, the war would have ended long ago. However, unfortunately, the Biden administration is acting differently. In particular, to prevent an escalation of the war and to prevent the United States and NATO from engaging in direct conflict with Russia. This is the wrong policy. We are now witnessing the imbalance of the nuclear deterrent and the formation of a new alliance of dictatorial regimes. In fact, the world is on the verge of nuclear chaos.

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