German Defense Minister: Russia has a surplus of weapons

German Defense Minister Pistorius said Russia is manufacturing more weapons than needed for the war in Ukraine and must keep them in storage.

“Ukrainians are defending themselves courageously and intelligently. What they lack is an air defense system to counter attacks on infrastructure,” the head of the German Ministry of Defense, Boris Pistorius, said during the interview. Discussion on April 24, mentioning the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

He said Germany has provided Ukraine with air defense systems and will soon deliver the country’s third Patriot complex. “The important thing now is to protect infrastructure,” Pistorius emphasized, adding that Berlin is committed to continuing to support Kyiv in the near future.

This official also acknowledged the outstanding capacity of the Russian defense industry. According to him, Moscow is manufacturing more weapons and ammunition than necessary for the war in Ukraine.

The German minister said that thanks to increasing the budget for weapons production and optimizing the economy according to the wartime model, “a significant part of Russian-made weapons are no longer sent to the front line, but are stored in reserves.”

This is contrary to Western experts’ predictions that Russia will soon run out of weapons and ammunition due to heavy losses in the conflict in Ukraine, as well as a series of embargoes and sanctions from the US and Europe.

Thanks to the shift to a wartime economic model, allowing defense industry plants to operate at full capacity to produce or refurbish weapons, as well as purchasing equipment from partner countries to circumvent sanctions, Russian military strength has recovered strongly.

Russian officials recently said that the country’s defense industry quadrupled the production of armored vehicles, 5 times the production of tanks, to 1,500 units, and increased the production of UAVs and artillery shells nearly 17 times.

US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said on April 3 that Russia has recovered nearly 100% of its military capacity compared to before the conflict broke out in Ukraine. He warned that Moscow’s “new capabilities” are not only a “threat” to Kyiv but also pose a “long-term challenge to stability in Europe and threaten NATO allies.”

Russian T-90M tank in Lugansk province in July 2023. Photo: RIA Novosti

Russian T-90M tank in Lugansk province in July 2023. Photo: RIA Novosti

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), headquartered in the UK, said in February that Russia has enough weapons reserves and production capacity to offset losses in Ukraine for at least 2-3 years.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has recently repeatedly suffered defeats on the battlefield, mainly due to a lack of weapons and ammunition. This country does not have a strong defense production capacity like Russia but must depend on supplies from the West, which have decreased seriously recently.

However, the situation is about to change in the near future, when the US aid law for nearly 61 billion USD to Ukraine was signed into law by President Joe Biden on April 24, after many months of being stuck in Congress due to difficulties. 

Immediately after the law was passed, the US government announced a $1 billion aid package for Ukraine, including a large number of anti-aircraft missiles and artillery shells, things that Kyiv urgently needs.