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Monday, June 19, 2023


 Putin Laments Weapons Shortage Amid Ukrainian Counteroffensive 

 GUEST BLOG / By the Council on Foreign Relations--Russian President Vladimir Putin told pro-war bloggers at the Kremlin late last week that Russian forces in Ukraine lacked weapons (Politico), including precision-guided munitions, aircraft, and tanks. 

Russia’s weapon production capabilities have been hampered by Western sanctions. As Ukraine continues its counteroffensive against Russian troops, the United States announced last week it will commit fifteen additional fighting vehicles (CBS) and ten more armed personnel carriers in a $325 million weapons package to support Ukraine’s war effort. 

 Putin also discussed divisions between the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group and the Russian defense ministry in yesterday’s meeting, saying that he backed a Russian military effort (Fin.Times) to bring Wagner under control of the defense ministry. 

Separately, Wagner’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said yesterday that his fighters had been taking a break since June 5 and would return to the battlefield in early August, but expressed doubts over going back to Ukraine specifically. 

 Analysis “The Ukrainians will be attacking elaborate fortifications, and the Russians are likely to be better at defense than offense. But this offensive should nevertheless make major gains and continue Ukraine’s track record of changing outsiders’ views about what outcomes are ultimately possible,” CFR expert Gideon Rose writes for
Foreign Affairs

 “While the quality of the military equipment used by the Ukrainian army continues to improve thanks to the Western aid, the quality of Russia’s weapons continues to degrade. At the same time, the Kremlin still possesses a significant degree of adaptability to Western sanctions,” says the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Max Bergmann. 

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