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Putin the Fool: Why Russia Is Going Down in Flames in Ukraine

Russian Military
Russian Military Su-34 Fighter-Bomber. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Adm Sir Tony Radakin, Britain’s chief of defense staff, told an event hosted by the Royal United Services Institute thinktank on Wednesday that Russia had never intended the conflict in Ukraine to last this long, and that a “critical shortage” of artillery shells is one of a number of factors hurting the Kremlin’s chance of winning the conflict.

Radakin suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin knows that the situation is dire and that he, along with his generals and ministers, are “afraid” to say it.

“Russia faces a critical shortage of artillery munitions. This means that their ability to conduct successful offensive ground operations is rapidly diminishing,” Radakin said.

The British defense official said that the fact Russia never planned for the war to last so long is the most obvious explanation for why Russia is struggling to replenish its supply of ammunition.

“There is no mystery as to why this is the case. Putin planned for a 30-day war, but the Russian guns have now been firing for almost 300 days. The cupboard is bare. Morally, conceptually and physically, Putin’s forces are running low,” Radakin said.

Ukraine War: Is He Right?

Radakin suggested that Russia running short on ammunition and other key supplies is an indicator that the Kremlin never expected the war to last this long. At face value, it makes sense – not only would Russian forces be in a better position right now had the Kremlin taken steps to increase supplies ahead of the war, but Russia also would not have been crippled by Western sanctions that make manufacturing arms almost impossible domestically.

However, it’s also true that, had Russia taken steps to manufacture more weapons and ammunition in the run-up to the conflict, Western countries may have implemented pre-emptive sanctions in anticipation of an invasion.

Russia Using 40-Year-Old Ammunition

Radakin’s comments come after it was revealed that Russian troops are now using decades-old ammunition in an effort to delay the use of what’s left of Russia’s remaining modern ammunition and grant more time to those working to secure more.

As 19FortyFive previously reported, an unnamed U.S. military official revealed on Monday how Russian troops are depending on some ammunition produced over 40 years ago.

“They have drawn from (Russia’s) aging ammunition stockpile, which does indicate that they are willing to use that older ammunition, some of which was originally produced more than 40 years ago,” the U.S. official said.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. 

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.



  1. elliot

    December 15, 2022 at 11:44 am

    If stored properly 40 year plus ammo should be fine. I fire 80+ year old mauser ammo with seldom a problem

  2. Jacksonian Libertarian

    December 15, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    “A Quick Victorious War”

    Authoritarians always overreach.

    “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy” Helmuth von Moltke

  3. Walker

    December 15, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Not sure what the point of this article is. Should Russia have produced more ammunition before the war? That is really a straw man arguement to have. 20/20 hindsight is only part of the equation.

    What every honest intelligent person can say is that Putin and Russia really underestimated what it would take to take Ukraine and they are running on empty while Ukraine still has quite a bit of fight left.

    The question needs to be asked is whether Russia can find solutions to its many problems. Can it find enough Ammunition, can it increase the recruitment of soldiers, can it improve the training of the recruits, can it improve the equipment for recruits, can it find a winning strategy. And this only talks about the war effort itself. Russia has economic issues on its horizon that are coming up fast. These issues are just as important as a failing military and a failing economy leads to revolution.

    I think the deck is stacked against Russia and I see no major shift in Russia that would lead me to believe that Russia is up to the task to handle these requirements. It truly looks like Russia will fail before Western governments face support fatigue. And I admit, that makes me very happy.

  4. Serhio

    December 15, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Why so many words?
    Summary of the article:
    300 days have passed. The Russians are using shells that they produced 40 years ago. When 350 days have passed, they will use shells that were produced 30 years ago. When 400 days have passed, they will use shells that were produced 20 years ago. When 450 days have passed, they will use shells that were produced 10 years ago. When 500 days have passed, they will use the shells that they produced last year. Conclusion: it remains to wait only 1 year and the Russians will run out of shells. And if Zelensky and Arestovich remain alive in Ukraine by this time, then they will win.

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