NATO Claims Russia Has a Winter Stockpile of Missiles

( – Russia has accumulated a substantial arsenal of missiles and is planning to deploy them to target Ukraine’s power and heating infrastructure in the upcoming months, according to NATO’s secretary general. As the frontline remains relatively static after Ukraine’s recent counteroffensive, there is growing concern in Kyiv about the possibility of another winter bombardment. The Secretary-General emphasized that Russia’s economic focus is geared toward warfare, urging vigilance and international support for Ukraine.

NATO’s warning comes amid ongoing disputes among EU nations and US lawmakers regarding proposed financial aid packages for Ukraine. The uncertainty about the longevity of Western support raises questions about Ukraine’s resilience in the face of Russia’s prolonged invasion.

Russia, allocating a record $120+ billion for defense in for 2024, is set to triple its defense spending compared to 2021, from before the invasion. The substantial funds, constituting 6% of GDP, indicate a significant commitment to military expansion. Arms manufacturers are working at maximum capacity, and non-military entities, such as a bakery turned drone producer, have shifted to support the defense industry.

While Russia intensifies its defense efforts, the quest for dual-use technology, which can have both civilian and military applications, has surged. The rush for such technology has led Russia to explore alternative routes, circumventing sanctions through third-party countries like Turkey.

Despite President Putin’s push for increased production, there are concerns that the emphasis on quantity might compromise the quality of the produced missiles. Western officials note that Russia is prioritizing quantity over accuracy, accepting components that may reduce precision. Moreover, there are reports of frequent shipments of munitions from Iran and North Korea, including drones and artillery, supporting Russia’s military operations.

NATO’s Secretary-General expressed caution and highlighted Russia’s weakened state politically, militarily, and economically compared to pre-invasion levels. However, he acknowledged that Russia still poses a significant threat to Ukraine, especially as it shifts toward a prolonged war of attrition. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has called for increased assistance from Western partners, emphasizing the need for enhanced air defense capabilities and mobile firing groups to withstand the challenges of the upcoming winter.

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