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The Russian war machine is fired up but won't be able to keep going like this indefinitely, war analysts say

Russian soldier
A Russian soldier stands guard at the Luhansk power plant in the town of Shchastya in April 2022.ALEXANDER NEMENOV/Getty Images
  • War experts warn of eventual degradation of the Russian defense industrial base due to equipment, labor, and resource shortages.

  • Russia's war materiel is vulnerable with stockpiles in poor condition and sanctions on supplies.

  • The war intensifies Russia's labor shortage, complicating arms manufacturing and efforts to increase economic capacity.

Russia's war machine has picked up momentum in concert with its increased industrial capacity and decreased Ukrainian resistance, but current Russian manufacturing capabilities and stored combat systems won't last forever, war experts say.

Russia's currently elevated defense industrial base production will not last in the medium- to long-term due to equipment stockpile and labor shortages, as well as sanctions on necessary resources, according to an Institute for the Study of War report.


Analysts have said there may be enough Russian Soviet-era tanks in storage to support the country for several more years of war, but those systems are notably of lower quality than the newer units. And there are problems with other military components such as ammunition and manpower.

Many of Russia's millions of stockpiled rounds are in poor condition. Russia has been capable of producing hundreds of thousands of munitions a month; however, it must also rely on foreign suppliers to maintain momentum, The Wall Street Journal and the London-based Royal United Services Institute reported.

Due to sanctions, Russia has had a difficult time sourcing all the parts it needs, like tank optics, and has attempted to duplicate them with little success, Forbes reported.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been a major factor in its ongoing labor shortage, an issue that can affect weapons manufacturing. Many Russian citizens who might have worked key jobs have either enlisted in the military or have fled the country. Recent reports also indicate there have been significant complaints about the availability of training, tools, and equipment.

If the crisis continues, ISW analysts said this will further "complicate Kremlin efforts to balance increasing Russian economic capacity and force generation while catering to select members of the Russian ultranationalist community by disincentivizing migrant workers."

Russia's has heightened its operational tempo and gained significant momentum since it advanced through Avdiivka in February.

The increased capacity of Russia's defense industrial base, ISW said, is "capable of sustaining Russia's current tempo of operations" in the short-term.

"The major variable likely to determine the rate at which such partially replenished Russian forces can advance this summer is the availability of materiel to Ukraine, which in turn depends heavily on the continued provision of US military assistance," ISW said.

That remains in question, and as Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Russia and Eurasia Program Senior Fellow Dara Massicot argued in a recent article, it will not matter if Russia's army has problems if Ukraine's defenses deteriorate with decreased support.

Read the original article on Business Insider