Russia Reaching Out To North Korea, Iran As It Burns Through 40-Year-Old Ammo: Pentagon

The Pentagon this week is suggesting that Russia is growing increasingly desperate in maintaining steady ammo supplies, with senior officials describing 40-year old Soviet-era ammo being used, claiming Moscow is turning to countries like North Korea, and relying increasingly on Iran. 

"They [Moscow] have drawn from ageing ammunition stockpiles, which does indicate that they are willing to use older ammunition, some of which was originally produced more than 40 years ago," a senior Pentagon official told a press briefing.

This makes it potentially faulty, unreliable, and even dangerous for the Russian troops operating the heavy guns, the official described: "In other words, you load the ammunition and you cross your fingers and hope it's going to fire or when it lands that it's going to explode."

Russia Reaching Out To North Korea, Iran As It Burns Through 40-Year-Old Ammo: Pentagon
AFP/Getty Images

The official went on the predict that Russia could deplete its up-to-date ammunition stocks by early 2023 if it didn't seek to tap both foreign suppliers and older ammo. Further the official alleged the chief foreign suppliers are likely to be Iran and the North Koreans.

"Russia, has been seeking to get additional capabilities from Iran," the official said. "And you know, the [National Security Council] put out a fair amount of information on this last week. You know, in a lot of ways, given this current state of Russia's munitions stockpile, it's not surprising that they continue to look at opportunities to work with countries like Iran and with – and North Korea to try to gain additional capability."

When pressed for evidence of the assertions, the Pentagon official cited that the Ukrainian army is increasingly finding duds and unexploded Russian ordinance littering the battlefield, which is a sign of reliance on older, undependable munitions

"And so, ultimately, broadly speaking, our assessment is that Russia -- the Russian military will very likely struggle to replenish its reserve of fully-serviceable artillery and rocket ammunition through foreign suppliers, increased domestic production and refurbishment.

So, again, this is why it's not surprising that they're reaching out to countries like Iran and North Korea to try to obtain some more dependable ammunition."

The US spokesman continued, "we do assess that they have used quite a bit of their stockpile and that their numbers - the numbers available to them have really diminished their ability to sustain their current rate of fire when it comes to PGMs [precision-guided munitions]."

This latest assessment also echoed the prior words of Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, who said in early December as the war entered its tenth month that Russia is "quite quickly" burning through its military stockpiles.

"It's really pretty extraordinary," Haines said. "Our own sense is that they are not capable of indigenously producing what they are expending at this stage. That's why you see them going to other countries effectively to try to get ammunition."

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from

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