Where is Russia buying its weapons from?


Where is Russia buying its weapons from?

Is Russia running out of ammunition? It’s a question Ukraine and its allies have been pondering as the war continues well into its second year.

There is evidence that Russia is getting supplies from abroad. This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in Russia to meet Vladimir Putin and it’s thought that ammunition supplies will be up for discussion.

Back in December, the US military estimated that, without outside help, Moscow would burn through its stocks of artillery shells and rockets by early this year – so why haven’t they run out?

It’s certainly true that, whatever supply issues it has encountered, Russia’s war machine continues to rain down misery upon Ukraine’s defenders.

Attack on Crimea shipyard – Ukraine war latest updates

Where is Russia buying its weapons from?

North Korea

Kim Jong Un has travelled to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin, their first meeting in four years.

Elon Musk refuses to answer if his ‘ignorance and ego’ cost Ukrainian lives

The reason? Not announced, but it comes as the US claims the Kremlin is attempting to acquire military equipment for its war in Ukraine.

Indeed, the North Korean leader told Mr Putin that his country “supports” his “sacred fight” to defend Russia’s security interests.

He said the two countries would “be together in the fight against imperialism”.

It comes after Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu is believed to have travelled to North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang last month.

It is thought Mr Shoigu attempted to persuade North Korea – one of the most militarised countries in the world – to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

North Korea has previously denied having any “arms dealings” with Russia, however, the US has imposed sanctions on three entities it accused of being tied to arms deals between the two countries.

Where is Russia buying its weapons from?


Another key ally of Russia, Iran has been accused of supplying large numbers of deadly drones to Russia.

Swarms of Shahed 136 drones have been sent to attack Ukrainian cities. Early on, they wrought huge damage on the country’s power supply but defenders have become increasingly able to shoot them down.

“You don’t know where they are going to hit, when they are going to hit,” Stuart Ray from McKenzie Intelligence Services previously told Sky News. “It’s a terrifying weapon.”

Where is Russia buying its weapons from?

And it’s not just drones that Iran is suspected of supplying. A purported arms contract seen by Sky News suggests Iran has sold ammunition to Russia, an informed security source claimed.

If authentic, the 16-page document, dated 14 September 2022, appears to be for samples of varying sizes of artillery and tank shells and rockets worth just over $1m (£800,000).


By far Russia’s biggest and richest ally, China has repeatedly denied sending military equipment to Russia since Moscow’s all-out invasion of its neighbour, despite the two nations signing a “no-limits” partnership in February 2022.

The US secretary of state warned China earlier this year there would be “consequences” if Beijing provides material support to Russia for its war in Ukraine.

Antony Blinken said in an interview after meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Washington was concerned Beijing was considering supplying weapons to Moscow.

Where is Russia buying its weapons from?

However there have been reports – including in July from Politico – that equipment from China that is non-lethal but still useful to Moscow’s soldiers has been sent to Russia.

Helena Legarda, a lead analyst specialising in Chinese defence and foreign policy at the Mercator Institute for China Studies, told the outlet that while any supply of weapons might trigger an international response, things like body armour and even commercial drones would be unlikely to do so.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.