CNN in its Monday “exclusive” report focuses on the numbers, saying that Russia is producing almost three times as much artillery ammunition as the combined efforts of the US and Europe in support of Kyiv.

According to an unnamed NATO intelligence official, the Kremlin is running its artillery manufacture plants “24/7.” The article suggests that the imbalance will be decisive ahead of an anticipated Russian offensive in the coming months.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, in another Monday report, this view is not shared by many Western officials and analysts.

It says that in the short term, though Russia’s production figures seem impressive they may be unsustainable as it is being achieved at the cost of the wider economy.

In particular, the combined drain on available manpower from both the war and the needs of the military industry has become acute in some areas. Things were bad enough at the Uralvagonzavod tank factory in Nizhny Tagil, that it had to take on 250 convicts to make up for personnel shortages, Business Insider reported.


As a result of the failure of the full-scale 2022 invasion to reach its intended goals, Moscow rapidly depleted its weapons and ammunition stocks and plowed its resources into its arms industry. In 2020, Russia spent 14 percent of its federal expenditure on defense, which increased in 2023 to 21 percent and in 2024 is likely to exceed 29 percent.

In a December interview with the Russian media site TASS, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that since the start of its so-called “special military operation,” his troops had 17 times more UAVs (drones), 17.5 times more ammunition, and six times more tanks, “which are being improved and modernized.”

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Some NATO experts think that Russia could sustain its war effort for at least two years, based on economic figures from several military-related industries but others argue that these are misleading.

They say that much of the increase in defense-related output relates to low-tech products and many of the output figures quoted by Moscow include refurbished old equipment and ammunition which was well past its normal serviceability dates.


The UK military think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), believes that in the long run, Russia’s domestic ammunition production won’t be sufficient to maintain its operations in Ukraine and will need to continue to get supplies from places like North Korea, and Iran.

Russia’s weapons problems do not stop at just keeping sufficient stocks to conduct its war.

A report this week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPIRI) suggests that the poor performance of many of Russia’s weapons systems during the war in Ukraine combined with the diversion of weapons originally intended for export have had a devastating impact on Moscow’s arms sales.

According to SPIRI’s figures, Russian arms exports fell by more than 50 percent between 2019 and 2023 compared to the previous five-year period – its share of the world market falling to 11 percent.

In 2019 Russia supplied major weapons systems to 31 countries. In 2022 that number fell to 14, and to only 12 in 2023 – with India, China and Egypt being its main customers, accounting for more than 60 percent of its weapons exports.


Not surprisingly the US and France have filled much of the gap left by Russia and arms supplies to Europe have almost doubled since 2019.

Even less surprising is that the weapons and ammunition provided to Kyiv by more than 30 states with its imports representing almost 5 percent of the global total, increased from what was only about 0.1 percent in 2018.

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Comments (6)
Edmilson Almendra
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Beware of CNN.
Unbelievable as it may seem, They are becoming more and more a subtle ruzzian propaganda tool and even allowing pro ruzzian military "experts" to spread fear, uneasiness and hopelessness on every evening news. And they know it! The ruzzian criminals are more deeply infiltrated than you may think. Stick with Radio Free Europe and Ukrainian channels, they're unbiased. Beware of current CNN.

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@Edmilson Almendra, Yeah I've noticed this as well; particularly in the last year. For a few months CNN actually covered less of the Ukraine war then that MRGA despicable network Fox (which lately has actually had an occasional Ukraine favourable article, albeit its common stein is foul with MRGA trolls). I wrote CNN to ask 'whats up with that', but apparently did not merit a response. So instead I wrote the authors that did post Ukraine favourable news thanking them and requesting more coverage....also no response. ABC, NBC NPR, PBS all lately do a better job covering the war from the USA perspective. Something is up with CNN for sure and its not good.

Regardless I prefer the better global coverage and lesser bias of ApNEWS, Reuters, BBC and surprisingly even Al Jazera. To meet my cravings for more regularly updated Ukraine news stories (albeit some opinion pieces are hugely suspect from the MRGA bias perspective), I will occasionally meander over to Newsweek, or the UK's Daily Mail or sometimes The Guardian.

For Ukraine specific news this is my favourite English site, albeit I also check out Ukranews , Ukrinform and sometimes now Putin foreign agent labelled " Moscow times" for a non putin aligned russian slant. These days it safer to gather news from a variety of sources.
Nuts About Trump
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Russia is expanding three times as much ammunition and producing three times as much because their fire control gunners suck Ukrainian gunners use GPS guided rounds very expensive very accurate. Of course the stupid Russians have to Xpress 3 to 1 and hope to hit something. more is not always good precision always better. Putler on THIN ICE soon it will be spring time and the ice will crack. President Trump will initiate war production act again like he did during Covid. Only now it will be General Motors making artillery shells. after all they owe us Americans, we had to bail them out remember too big to fail now General Motors will be busy at their factories, making critical components for the M777 ex caliber rounds. top-secret shit of course they won't be pouring molten metal, but they will be assembling critical components. The only one that won't will be Ford they did not fail. They did not borrow money.

Uros Serbia
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@Nuts About Trump, Then alarm was ringing, you woke up, and took much required medicine.
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all the more reason to provide weapons to Ukraine faster than what has occurred.... these weak Chamberlain Western leaders need to wake up and help Ukriane...

the USA is crazy falling apart and Ukriane must wonder if they will ever deliver another load of weapons? words mean nothing, weapons on site means the USA supports Ukraine rather than supporting Russia!

The USA is not a dependable ally. crazy that one party has become the Putin Party, Putin is very happy his investment in Americans is paying big dividends....

I am sure many other nations are checking if the USA is dependable? worried about any assistance should Russia or China invade. the world in watching the f$$k up in the USA.
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The war has expised o the world how russia has lied about the effectiveness of many of their over-hyped weapons. Very gratifying to see that lying putler embarrassed.

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"Expised o"??? I meant "exposed to" , obviously. Tiny phone keyboard is to blame. Oh well!
Dave Duringer
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Under our Manchurian president Biden? Sure.
Thomas G
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Spot on opinion piece from Mr. Brown.