Russian armed forces engaged in the invasion of Ukraine still have sufficient conventional ammunition despite a fall in capabilities in other areas, a senior Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) officer says.
Conversely, Col. Margo Grosberg, commander of the EDF's intelligence center (Kaitseväe luurekeskus) says that military aid being sent to Ukraine from western countries, while welcome, is not enough to carry on the fight adequately.
Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Defense Friday, Col. Grosberg said: "The past two months have seen mainly artillery duels and trench warfare, with neither side progressing more than a kilometer a day."
"This also indicates how hard-going these battles are. Of course, both sides have been using thousands of rounds a day. This means that it may be true that Ukrainian ammunition is drying up."
"Meanwhile, western aid will not arrive as quickly as it needs to, plus it would be needed in volumes many times more than has currently been the case, in order for Ukraine to win the war," he added.
The EDF intelligence chief noted that Russia is currently mainly reorganizing the battalions which took part in the war's battle groups, in order to send them to the front again after that transformation, and, when mobilization was announced, it could bring millions to war.
"Most of what they have to do is already in the war, most of the volunteers are already on the front. But in order to make serious progress, Russia could announce a mobilization, and then it could send millions to the front," he went on, adding that the figure would depend on the size of the mobilization.
While over the past week, neither side in the conflict has again been able to make significant progress, Russian units have been more successful in Donbass and in the south of Ukraine .
Again, neither side can make much progress without significant reinforcement. "Both sides are able to hold the front, but not to advance," he added.
The most effective action for the Ukrainians would be to be able to boost their combat capabilities - personnel and equipment - in leaps and bounds, and to move forward in the Kharkiv region and cut off the connection of Russian forces on the line between Belgorod (on the Russian side of the border-ed.) and Izjum (in Ukraine-ed.).
On the other hand, regarding the south: "Looking at what the Russian Federation has done elsewhere, especially in Kherson, it would be difficult for [the Ukrainians] to succeed there," he added.
From Russia's military perspective, reaching the eastern city of Severodonetsk and crossing the Siverskyi Donets Riverr would help them to free up units that they could direct to the Zaporizhia oblast (in the south) or other places where the landscape would be easier to move forward, Col. Grosberg said
While Russia should have sufficient conventional weapons and still have have artillery, which harms civilian infrastructure and the population the most, Grosberg said, they may soon run out of the precision weapons which use components of Western origin.
As to when western-provided rocket launchers will be available to Ukrainian units, Grosberg said the allies will not talk about it until these weapons are present.
The drop in the number of cruise missile attacks, which this has not dwindled to zero, demonstrates how Russia's capabilities have also fallen compared with the earlier stages of the war, Col. Grosberg said.
Col. Grosberg gives weekly briefings to the media on the situation on the ground in Ukraine.
Editor: Andrew Whyte