A Blog by Jonathan Low


Nov 15, 2022

No Drone, Missile Attacks In Week On Ukraine Reveals Russia Running Short

Russia has not launched any missile or drone strikes against Ukraine in the last week suggesting both that some launch sites were being relocated from the Kherson region and that Russia's supplies or Iranian-supplied drones and missiles are running short due to logistics and, possibly, payment issues. JL 

Howard Altman reports in The Drive:

The Russians, facing supply shortages, have not fired any cruise missiles or launched any Iranian Shahed-136 drones on Ukraine’s power infrastructure over the past week. (Of their supply) “13% remains for Iskanders, 43% for Kalibr missiles, and 45% for Kh missiles. It is dangerous to fall below 30%." (But) due to the lack of missiles, their low efficiency and accuracy, the Russians used Iranian drones. To date, 330 out of 400 Iranian “suicide” drones have been destroyed. Russia has ordered another 1,500 Iranian drones, "but to order is one thing: they have to be delivered."

The Russians, facing supply shortages, have not fired any cruise missiles or launched any attacks using Iranian Shahed-136 drones on Ukraine’s power infrastructure over the past week, the Ukrainian Air Force spokesman said Monday.

“We don't see any [attacks] within the last week [by] Shahed-136 drones and cruise missiles,” said Yuri Ignat during a media briefing Monday, calling the pause a “conditional quietness.”

“Obviously, the enemy cannot afford to launch massive missile strikes all the time, because it experiences a shortage of these weapons. This also applies to Iskanders and [Kh]-555, [Kh]-101 missiles, as well as Kalibr” cruise missiles.

Last month, the Russians only fired 15 Kalibrs, said Ignat, "which means that these missiles are in deficit with the enemy and they cannot manufacture them on the large scale in a fast manner.”

As for "the quietness in terms of rocket strikes and missile strikes, I think that the enemy is accumulating its forces because as I previously mentioned, they cannot afford to constantly strike on us,” said Ignat. “And we can relate it to something that happened in the southern direction. We witnessed the liberation of the [west] bank of the Dnipro River. And apparently, the enemy concentrated their attention to preserve the group of troops in that area to get regrouped and relocated.” 

The missile shortage described by Ignat tracks with what Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of that nation's Defense Intelligence Directorate, told Ukrainian Pravda last month.

“About 13 percent remains for Iskanders, about 43 percent for Kalibr-PL, Kalibr-NK missiles, and about 45 percent for Kh-101 and Kh-555 missiles,” Budanov told the Ukrainian newspaper. “It is generally very dangerous to fall below 30 percent because it already goes [in]to 'NZ' [reserve stocks]. … Due to the lack of missiles and their low efficiency and accuracy, they were forced to use Iranian drones. They use 'Shahed' en masse here.” 

But now Russia appears to be a shortage of those drones, Ignat said.

To date, more than 330 out of some 400 Iranian “suicide” drones have been destroyed by the Ukrainian Defense Forces, he said Monday. “They were [launched] from the Crimea, from the Kherson region, from the Zaporizhzhia region, as well as from the Kursk region of Russia and the territory of Belarus.” 

Russia has ordered another 1,500 Iranian drones, said Ignat, "but to order is one thing: they have to be delivered, they have to be located at the launch sites, and only then they can be used. These deliveries appear to continue depending on a number of factors.”

Earlier this month, Ukrainian officials said that they expected a new tranche of Iranian drones, as well as Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar short range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) to be delivered from Iran to Russia for its war in Ukraine. You can read more about that here.  

During a press briefing Monday afternoon, a senior U.S. military official told reporters, including from The War Zone, that the Pentagon has seen a slowdown in the number of Russian missile and drone strikes.

“Missile strikes and drone strikes have slowed down a bit since the end of October,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “However, we do continue to see the Russians strike at civilian infrastructure, doing damage to things like the electrical grid as Ukraine heads into the winter.”

Russia's "munitions stockpiles are challenged and particularly when it comes to precision-guided munitions," the official said.

The official had "no new updates" to provide about future delivery of Iranian drones and SRBMs.

"We do remain concerned about Russian and Iranian discussions to provide additional weapons to Russia for their fight in Ukraine," the official said. "And so that's something that we will continue to keep an eye on."

On Monday, the European Union (EU) expanded the sanctions it previously placed on Iran over the supply of drones to Russia.

The EU added two individuals and two Iranian legal entities to the sanction list due to suspicions of drones’ supplies to Russia, according to the official Russian state news agency TASS, citing the EU’s Official Journal. 


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