US intel: Russia using up ammunition in Ukraine faster than it can replace it
Russian forces in Ukraine are burning through ammunition faster than the country's defense industry can replace it, U. S. National Intelligence Director Avril Haines said on Saturday.
According to Ukrinform, she said this in an interview with NBC News at a panel at the Reagan Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.
Russia is using up ammunition "quite quickly," prompting Moscow to look to other countries for help, including North Korea, she said.
Asked how fast Russia was using up ammunition, Haines said: "I don't think I can give you precise numbers in this forum. But quite quickly. I mean, it's really pretty extraordinary. And our own sense is that they are not capable of indigenously producing what they are expending at this stage. So that is going to be a challenge."
Haines said that Russia was using up precision munitions even faster than its conventional ammunition.
Haines said that the extent of North Korea's assistance to Russia appeared limited but that it was something the intelligence community would continue to monitor closely.
The looming shortage of ammunition was just one of a number of challenges facing Russia's military, Haines said, citing problems with morale and logistics as well.
The intelligence chief said that the tempo of the war in Ukraine appeared to be slowing down with the onset of winter and that both militaries would be trying to reset and regroup for more fighting in the spring. But she said the intelligence community had a "fair amount of skepticism" that Russian forces would be sufficiently prepared for renewed clashes in March, she said.