Artillery vehicle

US says Russia is buying artillery munitions from North Korea – report

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WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence has estimated that Moscow was buying millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea, The New York Times reported, following reports that the Russian military has reportedly started using Iranian-made drones.

US officials said they could confirm the New York Times information was accurate and that additional Russian purchases of North Korean military equipment were expected.

‘The Russian Defense Ministry is buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use in the battlefield in Ukraine,’ an official said by email when asked on the newspaper report.

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The official said the purchases indicated that the Russian military “continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, in part due to export controls and sanctions.”

“We expect Russia to try to buy additional North Korean military equipment in the future,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified by name.

The Times quoted US government officials as saying the purchases showed that US-led sanctions had begun to bite and reduce Russia’s ability to support its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow called a “special military operation”.

Monday’s newspaper report said recently declassified intelligence provided no details of what had been purchased, other than that the items included artillery shells and rockets.

Last month, a U.S. official told Reuters that Iranian-made Russian drones had suffered “numerous failures”. The official said Russia most likely plans to acquire hundreds of Mohajer-6 and Shahed series unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Read more

Ukraine has recently launched counter-offensives in several places, including around Kherson, which Russia has occupied since the start of the invasion. In preparation for these attacks, Ukrainian forces struck Russian supply areas, including those containing artillery and ammunition.

Officials said Western sanctions limited Russia’s ability to replace vehicles and weapons destroyed in Ukraine.

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Reporting and writing by Gerry Doyle and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Stephen Coates and Michael Perry

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