Putin Scrambles for Kim Jong Un’s Aid Amid Ukraine Invasion Losses

putin scrambles for kim jong un s aid amid ukraine invasion losses.jpg Business

In an unexpected twist in the geopolitical landscape, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be seeking support from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, signaling a potential union of two of the world’s most notorious pariah states. Retired US Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling has suggested that this move is a desperate plea for help from Putin, as Russia continues to suffer significant losses in manpower and resources following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

According to a report by The New York Times, Kim Jong Un is planning a visit to Russia later this month, with the primary agenda being negotiations over supplying weapons to Russia. This development, as per unnamed US and allied officials cited in the report, also includes North Korea’s quest for food supplies. The stark reality of Putin’s predicament is further underscored by US officials’ estimates, which suggest that Russian military casualties are nearing the 300,000 mark, with deaths accounting for as many as 120,000 and injuries for up to 180,000.

Desperate Putin Seeking Weapons from North Korea, Says Retired US General

Retired US Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling has asserted that Russia’s potential arm discussions with North Korea underscore the desperation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This comes in the wake of The New York Times report that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is planning to visit Russia to discuss weapon supply, and in return, seek food supplies for North Korea.

A Union of Pariah States

Hertling’s comments during his conversation with CNN’s Jim Acosta pointed out the unusual alliance between two world leaders, both at the helm of globally recognized pariah states. He stated, "This will generate a lot of attention. It’s showing that Mr. Putin is scrambling for help." Hertling, who served as the commanding general of US Army Europe, highlighted the significant losses Russia has endured since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Heavy Losses for Russia

US officials estimated last month that the Russian military casualties are nearing 300,000, with deaths accounting for approximately 120,000 and injuries reaching up to 180,000. The open-source intelligence website Oryx reported in May that the Russian military has lost at least two-thirds of its tanks since the war’s inception.

North Korean Weapons Unlikely to Change War Outcome

Despite potential weapon supply from North Korea, Retired Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks, who spoke with CNN alongside Hertling, expressed doubt that it would greatly impact the Ukraine war situation. Marks stated that even though the weapons would be an immediate boost due to their compatibility with Russian systems, it’s unlikely to "strategically alter the outcome of the fight in Ukraine."

Russia’s foreign ministry has not yet responded to the comments.


This potential arms negotiation between Russia and North Korea highlights the desperate state of Russia’s military and resource situation. However, the introduction of North Korean weaponry may not significantly alter the current state of the war in Ukraine. As the world watches this unexpected alliance unfold, it’s clear that the human and material toll of the Ukraine conflict is escalating, pushing Putin to seek help from unlikely quarters.

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