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Ukraine War Update: Russia Is Still Producing Missiles (Somehow)

Russia's Tu-160 Bomber. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

According to a report released on Monday, some of the cruise missiles used in strikes against Ukraine in November were manufactured months after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia designed to prevent the manufacturing of new advanced missiles and weapons.

According to researchers from Conflict Armament Research (CAR), evidence suggests that missiles used in strikes on Kyiv in November, which caused widespread electricity outages, were manufactured sometime between October and November of this year.

A team of CAR investigators, who were present in Kyiv during the attacks, documented remnants of two missiles that hit the city.

“These missiles were Kh-101 air-to-surface guided weapons, a latest-generation model of Russian cruise missiles that entered into service in 2013. The remnants bore marks indicating that the weapons were produced between July and September 2022 (see Figure 1) and between October and November 2022 (see Figure 2),” the report reads.

The report shows photographs of the Kh-101 guided missiles and described how the last eight digits of one of the weapon’s production codes start with “33208.” Researchers say that the numbers “32” indicate that the weapon was manufactured in the third quarter of 2022.

The other missile’s production code begins with “34210,” indicating that it was manufactured in the fourth quarter of 2022.

What It Means

The report suggests that Russia continues to manufacture weapons domestically, despite a lack of access to Western technology and parts that were previously necessary to build the weapons.

The findings could, therefore, suggest that Russia has sourced alternate parts from other supplies, or that perhaps these components are being manufactured domestically too. They could also indicate that Russia is simply using up the last of the parts it has in existing stockpiles.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines recently speculated that North Korea may be playing a role in helping Russia fill gaps in its manufacturing sector.

“We’ve indicated we’ve seen some movement, but it’s not been a lot at this stage,” Haines said.

Russia Still Burning Ammo Faster Than It Can Be Made

Intelligence Director Avril Haines also said recently that Russia is still using up ammunition “quite quickly” and looking to other countries to help supply necessary parts to continue building missiles and other weapons.

“And our own sense is that they are not capable of indigenously producing what they are expending at this stage,” Haines said. “So that is going to be a challenge.”

In November, the Pentagon said that Russia was firing 20,000 artillery rounds every day as it attempts to stave off new Ukrainian advances.

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.