Russia Running Out Of Tanks, Missiles & Fighter Jets In Ukraine; Will China Step In To Help Putin?

Russia might lose its ground in Ukraine where a war has been raging on since 24 February, according to a finding by The Telegraph. “Vladimir Putin risks running out of viable tanks, missiles and fighter jets because the components they use are made in Ukraine,” reports the UK-based newspaper.

The latest report from the battleground also says that Russian troops are withdrawing from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, following the Kremlin’s inability to stockpile components of missiles and tanks.

Meanwhile, Nato general secretary Jens Stoltenberg dismissed reports of Russian troops withdrawing and termed it as “regrouping”.

He told reporters in Brussels: “According to our intelligence, Russian units are not withdrawing but repositioning. Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in the Donbas region.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also expressed the same. Hinting at a bigger offensive by Russia in the eastern parts, Zelensky in an interview with Fox said, “Ukraine wants nothing but victory”. He also warned the world that Putin will continue his aggression in Europe beyond Ukraine and will get what he wants “unless he is stopped” now.

Earlier in the week, Russia’s deputy defense minister hinted at moving into “phase two” of the conflict and “it would be focusing on the Donbas region in the east,” instead of Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Ukraine Armed Forces, on Saturday, posted on Facebook that Russia has lost 631 tanks, 1,776 armored personnel carriers, 1,236 vehicles, 317 artillery systems, 100 multiple launch rocket systems, 54 anti-aircraft defense systems, 134 helicopters, 143 aircraft, 76 fuel tanks, 87 UAVs and 7 boats as on April 2, 2022.

The Russian Iskander-M SRBM. (file photo/Wikimedia Commons)

It also claimed to have shot down a Russian helicopter on Friday with the help of Starstreak, Britain’s most advanced portable missile system. Britain has also promised to supply more arms to Ukraine.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 3,257 civilian casualties in Ukraine: 1,276 killed and 1,981 injured, displacing more than 4.1 million people.

While launching the war against Ukraine five weeks back, President Vladimir Putin told the people of Russia that his goal was to “demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine” and “it is not planning to occupy the Ukrainian territory.”

The pattern of the ongoing war underlines the same. The Russian forces bombard city after city with no intention of taking control of the damaged neighborhoods. However, if The Telegraph report turns out to be true and Russia could not manage to get components for its damaged tanks and missiles, will China step in to help its silent partner?

File Image: A destroyed Russian tank (Oryx)

Will China Help Russia?

The EU has repeatedly sought Beijing’s help to end the war in Ukraine. Reports of Russia losing its upper hand in the war are appearing in the backdrop of the first summit between Chinese and EU leaders in two years.

File Image: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

China though did not take a firm stand supporting Russia it laid partial blame for the war on the US and repeatedly criticized the Western sanctions against Russia.

At the virtual summit, China reiterated the same as top European Union officials sought assurances from Beijing that it would not help Moscow circumvent the economic measures imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reported Associated Press on Friday.

Meanwhile, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed hopes that ‘China would use its influence as a major power and permanent member of the U.N. Security Council to convince Russia it should put an end to the war.’

However, Western politicians are trying hard to thwart Chinese participation in the turmoil caused by Putin in Europe.

Last month, US President Joe Biden, in a two-hour long direct video call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, raised doubts about China’s intervention and warned Jinping of its “consequences”.