The US think tank made the assessment in its latest analysis of the war in Ukraine, published on Wednesday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
According to the US experts, “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calls for a competitive Russian military industry are divorced from the reality of Russian supply chain and defense industrial base issues.”
The ISW said that Putin’s appeals “contrast with recent reporting that Russia has purchased weapons systems from Iran and North Korea to support its war effort in Ukraine.”
The Washington-based think tank cited US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, who announced on November 2 that “the American intelligence community believes that North Korea is covertly supplying Russia with artillery shells.”
According to the ISW, “Iranian shipments of drones and possible ballistic missiles to Russia will likely further increase Russian reliance on Iranian-made weapons systems.”
The US experts said that Russia "has likely negotiated the weapon shipments with Iran and North Korea because it has significantly depleted its stock of munitions in air, missile, and artillery strikes over the course of the war in Ukraine and cannot readily restock them.”
The ISW concluded: “Russia’s reliance on isolated and heavily sanctioned states for critical weapons systems does not support Putin’s demand that the Russian military industry becomes highly competitive and meets the needs of the Russian Armed Forces in any short period of time.”
Russia struggling to replace lost tanks, armoured vehicles
Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defence said on Thursday that Russia was faced with increasing problems in replacing tanks and infantry combat vehicles it was losing on the battlefields of Ukraine,
In their latest intelligence update, published on Twitter, the British analysts wrote: “Russian soldiers serving in Ukraine are likely frustrated that they are forced to serve in old infantry combat vehicles which they describe as aluminium cans.”
The UK Ministry of Defence added: “In mid-October, in the face of Ukrainian offensives, Russian armoured vehicles losses increased to over 40 a day: roughly equivalent to a battalion’s worth of equipment.”
According to the British analysts, in recent weeks "Russia has likely resorted to acquiring at least 100 additional tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from Belarussian stocks.”
Russian forces using civilians as human shields
Russian occupation forces in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region are continuing to use civilians as "human shields," Ukraine’ General Staff reported on Thursday.
“In the city of Svatove, the Russians are deploying their units in schools and at the premises of local businesses, while local residents are being forced to continue to send their children to school despite relentless shelling,” Ukraine’s military command said, as cited by the Ukrainska Pravda website.
Russian forces continue forcible 'evacuation' of civilians
Meanwhile, Russian occupation forces were continuing to forcibly "evacuate" residents of the temporarily occupied territories in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, especially those whose homes are located along the left bank of the River Dnipro between Velyka Znamianka in Zaporizhzhia province and Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region, Ukraine’s General Staff also reported.
Russian soldiers were stealing and taking away ambulances and hospital equipment in Hola Prystan and Skadovsk in southern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials.
Since Wednesday morning, Russian forces have carried out three missile strikes and 24 airstrikes, as well as over 80 attacks using multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) on more than 20 cities, towns and villages across Ukraine, the General Staff in Kyiv reported on Thursday morning, as cited by Ukrainska Pravda.
Russian shelling kills four in Donetsk region
At the same time, four people were killed and five injured over the past 24 hours as a result of Russian shelling in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, the PAP news agency reported, citing Ukrainian officials.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the regional military administration, wrote on the Telegram social messaging app that three residents were killed in the city of Bakhmut and one in the city of Avdiivka.
In addition, four more civilian bodies were found in reclaimed areas in the north of the province, Kyrylenko said, as cited by PAP.
Meanwhile, the effects of troop mobilisation are visible in Russia, with a shortage of young men being felt especially keenly, the Polish news agency reported, citing Germany’s Tagesspiegel newspaper.
It said the German newspaper predicted that "if the war continues for a longer period," Russia may face a "demographic catastrophe."
Thursday is day 253 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, understandingwar.org, UK Ministry of Defence, pravda.com.ua