Russian Soldier In Snow
Representation. A Russian soldier in a snowy area. Eugene_69/Pixabay


  • A Russian army contractor said Moscow could not make gains in the war due to the old weapons
  • The Russian army is also distributing old military equipment in need of repair to soldiers on the frontline
  • A military expert said Russia's use of Soviet-era weapons shows it was not prepared for a protracted war

The Russian army is now distributing "mothballed" Soviet-era weapons to its soldiers as it faces weapon shortages in the war in Ukraine, according to a report.

Speaking to The Moscow Times, a Russian army contractor said Moscow's troops are failing to make advancements on the frontlines because they are being given a large number of old military equipment that is in need of repair. Many of the equipment were "mothballed Soviet-era weapons" that were in poor condition as a result of being stored incorrectly, the outlet reported.

It further said that the old equipment being distributed to Russian soldiers had previously been scheduled to be disposed of, along with other leftover intercontinental missiles, radio-guided missiles and fuel. In fact, Russia spent 7.7 billion rubles ($100.3 million) on at least 74 disposal contracts.

Military expert David Gendelamn said the suspension of disposal is a sign that Russia was not prepared for a protracted war when it invaded Ukraine in February last year.

"This is an indicator that new technology is not enough. Now we see not just the removal of equipment from storage, but also the restoration and repair of equipment already decommissioned from service. Because they did not count on such a protracted war, where all this may still be needed. Therefore, now there is not enough equipment, ammunition, personnel and everything else," Gendelamn told the outlet.

At the start of the invasion, Russia had about 20,000 tanks and armored vehicles, over 2,800 combat aircraft and 3,700 artillery systems at its disposal. The balance sheet of the Russian Armed Forces also noted that, in total, it had more than 80 thousand pieces of equipment, as per The Military Balance.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not released reports on its equipment losses in the war in Ukraine. However, estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said Russia has lost a total of 3,552 tanks, 6,879 combat armored machines, 2,586 artillery systems, 2,167 UAVs and 5,428 vehicles and fuel tanks in the 13-month war. Additionally, Moscow is also estimated to have lost 166,570 military personnel.

Ukrainian servicemen train in the Kharkiv region on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion