Russia Hoards Missiles for Winter Strikes Warns UK Defense Ministry

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The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has raised alarms over Russia’s potential build-up of a substantial arsenal of air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) for a likely winter offensive against Ukraine. The MoD report, published in a Saturday intelligence update, suggests that the primary targets of these possible winter attacks could be the Ukrainian infrastructure, a move that could further destabilize the war-torn region.

This chilling report comes on the heels of earlier reports indicating that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s armed forces have been grappling with a significant depletion of missile resources amidst struggles to ramp up production. The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S.-based think tank, in its recent analysis, pointed out that the Russian defense industrial base is encountering increasing challenges in replenishing basic supplies, including precision weapons, a fact that might be driving the Russian leadership’s efforts to accelerate cruise missile production.

Russia Likely Preparing for Winter Strikes on Ukraine, Warns UK Ministry of Defense

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has expressed concern over Russia’s potential plan for winter strikes on Ukraine. The MoD’s intelligence update on Saturday suggested that Russia is likely trying to amass a significant stockpile of air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) for this purpose. The intended targets for these attacks, it surmised, could be Ukrainian infrastructure, further escalating the ongoing conflict.

Struggling to Replenish Missile Supplies

The MoD’s assessment comes amid reports of the Russian armed forces struggling to replenish their missile stockpile. The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S.-based think tank, had earlier highlighted that both Ukrainian and Russian sources have acknowledged the challenges Russia faces in replacing basic supplies and rebuilding stocks of precision weapons. The Russian defense industrial base is reportedly grappling with these issues.

Reduction in ALCM Launches

The British defense ministry noted that information from open sources indicates a decrease in the number of ALCMs being launched by Russia since April. This coincides with Russian leaders’ efforts to ramp up the production of cruise missiles. Prior to this, between October 2022 and March 2023, Russia executed long-range missile strikes on Ukraine’s national energy infrastructure.

Impact of Missile Strikes

The MoD observed that ALCMs, particularly the modern AS-23a KODIAK, have been central to most of Russia’s strike missions. Russian strategic bomber aircraft have been releasing these munitions from deep within Russian territory. Despite efforts to conserve its missile stockpile, Russia has continued large-scale missile attacks on Ukraine. The recent attack in Kostyantynivka in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine has been the deadliest civilian target strike since January, with at least 17 people killed, including a child, and 32 others wounded.

Russian Missile Losses

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Thursday that Russia has lost a total of 1,455 cruise missiles since the war began in February 2022. However, these numbers could not be independently verified, and the Kremlin does not disclose its estimates of equipment losses.


This report underscores the serious threat posed by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The potential for significant strikes against Ukraine’s infrastructure could result in further devastation and loss of life. It also highlights the challenges Russia faces in maintaining its supply of precision weapons, an issue which could have broader implications for the country’s military capabilities. The international community must remain vigilant and prepared to respond to potential escalations in the conflict.

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