For the first time, Russia has admitted that it is running out of weapons in the Ukraine war, after President Vladimir Putin‘s government created a draft federal law that would allow the country to quickly repair weapons and military equipment.
On Thursday evening, the Kremlin submitted a bill to the State Duma on “special economic measures” for “counterterrorist and other operations” outside of Russia.
An explanatory note attached to the bill said that there is, particularly amid Putin’s war against Ukraine, “a short-term increased need for the repair of weapons and military equipment.”
The bill proposed, among other measures, “the implementation of material assets from state reserves” and “the temporary activation of mobilization capacities and facilities,” as well as overtime work in “individual organizations.”
The text of the draft law notes the need for Russia to repair its weapons and military equipment amid “a special military operation in the territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic and Ukraine,” referring to the war against Ukraine, which Putin launched late February.
“The need to promptly meet these requirements, especially in the context of the introduction by foreign states and international organizations of restrictive measures against Russian citizens and Russian legal entities, will require temporarily focusing efforts in certain sectors of the economy (in certain areas), reloading the production capacities of organizations of the military-industrial complex, including mobilization, and to organize resource support for deliveries within the framework of the state defense order,” the note said.
According to the explanatory note, the bill, if signed into law, would give the Kremlin the authority “to establish special regulations concerning labor relations for certain organizations, their divisions and selected production facilities.”
This marks the first time Russia has signaled that it is suffering huge military losses in its war against Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials regularly provide updates on Russian military losses. On Friday, the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine said on Facebook that so far, Russia has lost 35,750 military personnel, 1,577 tanks, 3,736 armored combat vehicles, 796 artillery systems, 246 multiple rocket launchers, 105 air defense systems, 217 aircraft, 645 operational-tactical UAVs, 15 ships/boats, 2,610 vehicles and tankers, and 186 helicopters.
Russian officials have so far publicly denied that Moscow is having difficulties sustaining Putin’s war effort.
The British defense ministry noted in an intelligence update late May that Russia’s decision to deploy old Soviet-era tanks on the battlefield highlighted “Russia’s shortage of modern, combat-ready equipment.”
Newsweek has reached out to Russia’s foreign ministry for comment.