Russia is buying large amounts of ammunition from North Korea to replenish a stockpile that has been depleted after months of intense fighting in Ukraine, a US military spokesman said.
“We have indications that Russia has approached North Korea to request ammunition supplies,” said Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder.
A separate statement from a US official said the purchase would involve missiles and artillery “for battlefield use in Ukraine.”
“This purchase shows that the Russian military continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, partly due to export controls and sanctions,” the statement said.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February with the clear expectation of gaining control of the country within weeks.
However, Ukraine halted its advance with the help of weapons and ammunition from the United States and other NATO and European allies.
Both sides in the war used large amounts of artillery shells and lost large amounts of armor in the honing battle.
But acquiring longer-range missiles from the United States and its allies has allowed Ukraine to target dozens of Russian ammunition depots behind the front lines.
And Western sanctions have made it harder for Moscow to buy replacement parts, including computer chips.
Ryder said the purchase from North Korea underscores the “challenges” the Russians face in terms of logistics and supply chain for their forces inside Ukraine.
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