Russians are trying to increase both quantity and quality of weapons it has been exhausting, after acquiring old munitions from Belarus and North Korea, but is hampered by Western sanctions and foiled by Western air defense systems, according to a recent interview with Ukrainian intelligence.

Russia plans to produce 2.7 million units of ammunition this year. According to Ukrainian intelligence, last year, Russia produced 2 million rounds of 122-mm and 152-mm ammunition.

“These are plans. We’ll see whether they will be implemented. But this requires, first of all, modernization of production, decommissioning or creation of new lines,” Maj. Gen. Vadym Skibitsky, representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine (HUR), said in an interview with Interfax Ukraine.

In February, the Kremlin planned to launch 130 Iskander, Kalibr, X-101, X-32, and Kinzhal class missiles, but came up short of its goal.

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Skibitsky said that Western sanctions should target machine tools, and materials used to make electronic chips and microcircuits.

Russia has now set up a center to replace foreign components, especially electronics, with inferior Russian-made components.

“They are worse in quality, not as perfect, but they allow weapons production,” Skibitsky said.

According to the HUR, the Russian military has already taken all the ammunition out of Belarus, so “there is nothing to take from there.”

The Kremlin has already received 1.5 million 122-mm and 152-mm shells from North Korea.

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“This is 70-80 years old ammunition, half of it doesn’t work,” Skibitsky said.

“This proves once again that Russia lacks its own production capacity for a rapid and powerful increase in missile production. If it did not, why would it ask North Korea,” he said.

“The Kremlin is very afraid that powerful Western equipment will come to Ukraine, so the aggressor has given itself the task of destroying both our aviation and infrastructure.”

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“In addition, the Russians are now trying to use more technological, more effective weapons, because the effectiveness of our air defense system against such missiles is very high…” said Skibitsky.

“But the enemy understands that it is difficult to shoot down ballistic missiles, and for this we need high-tech Western weapons, like the Patriot, and we depend here on the supplies of our partners.”

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