U.S. Intelligence has declassified a report by an anonymous official claiming that Russia has purchased millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use on the Ukrainian battlefield.
However, no details had been supplied by the anonymous source, such as proof that money had been exchanged or shipments had been scheduled. The New York Times reported the claim on Monday.
On Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said, “The information that we have is that Russia has specifically asked for ammunition.”
The purchase of ammunition indicates that the Russian military continues to face severe supply shortages in Ukraine, partly due to export controls and sanctions, reported Fox News.
The former Soviet Union and North Korea formed relations after WWII during the 1950s Korean War. The former has been a significant benefactor to North Korea, financially supporting the regime. Decades later, their mutual support continues, with North Korea blaming the war in Ukraine on the United States and the West.
Another recent U.S. assessment was that Russia purchased weapons-capable drones from Iran, as reported by the New York Times.
The U.S. believes Moscow purchased the Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series drones — the Shahed-129 and Shahed-191 — from Iran and transferred them to Russia for use in the Ukraine conflict. The drones can carry precision-guided munitions and can be used for surveillance.
Russia has attempted to obstruct the Ukrainian military’s use of recently supplied Western long-range precision artillery and rocket systems, such as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), on the battlefield, CNN reports.
Using the HIMARS, Ukraine has been able to precisely target and strike Russian command posts, logistical hubs, and ammunition depots well beyond the front lines.
Russian officials claim that the U.S. is directly involved in the Ukraine conflict by authorizing and coordinating missile attacks on Russian troops in Ukraine, according to The Dallas Express.
Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, claimed Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence admitted to the Telegraph newspaper that Washington coordinates missile strikes using US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
“All of this undeniably proves that Washington is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims,” Shoigu said, according to Reuters.
U.S. President Joe Biden has stated that he wants Ukraine to defeat Russia and has delivered billions of U.S. citizens’ tax dollars in arms to Kyiv, including 16 HIMARS. However, government officials have said the U.S. will not participate in a direct clash between Ukraine and Russian soldiers.
Concerns over fraud and mismanagement of funds have been raised by various U.S. officials, urging for increased oversight into how Ukraine is spending the billions being sent by the government.