A War of Attrition

Assessing the Impact of Equipment Shortages on Russian Military Operations in Ukraine

This report examines the impact of Russia’s growing military equipment and ammunition shortages on the Kremlin’s ability to prosecute the war in Ukraine and to carry out operations in other areas. In doing so, it focuses on availability of artillery ammunition, as well as five weapons categories of central importance for Russia’s ability to sustain operations: tanks, artillery, uncrewed aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, and long-range precision strike weapons. For each category, the report examines how the size and composition of Russian weapons portfolios in Ukraine are changing under the twin influences of attrition and sanctions, while taking account of Russian efforts to increase defense production and otherwise replenish its forces. It concludes by assessing the impact of Russia’s declining weapons portfolios in Ukraine on its ability to carry out future operations against Kyiv, as well as in other regions of interest such as Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Caucasus.

This publication was funded by the Russia Strategic Initiative, U.S. European Command. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense or the United States government. 

Paul N. Schwartz
Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program