A NATO official said Russia lacks the weapons and personnel to carry out a major offensive in Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters before the three-day NATO summit commenced on Tuesday, an unnamed NATO official told Reuters that Russia is suffering “very high” losses and the alliance believes Russia would need more supplies and fresh troops to launch a major operation.

“What they are having to do is order undermanned, inexperienced units to move into areas to achieve unrealistic objectives…To sustain real offensive operations, we think that Russia would have to secure significant ammunition supplies from countries beyond what it is already getting from Iran and from North Korea.”

“And Vladimir Putin would have to order a new large-scale mobilization,” he said, adding that Moscow is currently able to covertly mobilize around 30,000 troops per month to sustain the losses, Reuters reported.


The official estimated that, at the current pace, Moscow would be able to maintain its war economy for three to four more years, but Putin “still thinks time is on his side” and is willing to endure “truly staggering numbers of military casualties.”

He also said that Ukraine suffered significant troop losses and “it will be some time” before Kyiv can amass enough troops and personnel for a major counteroffensive, though he also said that “Ukrainian defenses [have improved] significantly” and are “improving day by day.”

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On May 10, Russia launched a surprise offensive on Ukraine’s Kharkiv region and made some territorial gains, an operation that’s been mostly contained by Ukrainian troops in recent weeks.

US officials have already announced more air defense for Kyiv as the NATO summit commenced on Tuesday, though it’s believed that Ukraine would not receive an invitation to the alliance. Instead, it’d be offered more security guarantees and a path to NATO in the future.

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