The United States has seen indications that Russia approached North Korea to request ammunition amid its ongoing war in Ukraine, a U.S. official said on Sept. 6.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said that Washington received information that Russia approached North Korea and "specifically asked for ammunition," but he was unable to provide more details.
Ryder said that Russia's request to North Korea suggests that Russia is facing "some challenges on the sustainment front" amid the Ukraine war, which has been ongoing since February.
"I'm not able to provide any more detail than that at this point in time, but it does demonstrate and is indicative of the situation that Russia finds itself in terms of its logistics and sustainment capabilities as it relates to Ukraine," he told reporters.
Washington assessed that the purchase could include "millions of rounds, rockets, and artillery shells" from North Korea, but there is no indication that the deal has been concluded, said John Kirby, national security spokesman for the White House.
Vassily Nebenzia, Russian ambassador to the United Nations, described the U.S. claims on Russia's military as "another fake thing" that had been circulated, The Associated Press reported.
Russia Received UAVs from IranThe United States had previously assessed that Russia received unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran in August, which was believed to be the first shipment of "hundreds of Iranian UAVs" that Russia planned to import.
State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Sept. 6 that Russian transport aircraft loaded the UAV equipment at an airfield in Iran last month and flew from Iran to Russia.
Patel said that Washington received information indicating that UAVs associated with the transfer to Russia had encountered "numerous failures," but didn't ellaborate.
He noted that Russian forces in Ukraine are suffering from "major supply shortages" due in part to sanctions and export controls, which have forced Russia "to rely on unreliable countries like Iran for supplies and equipment."
"Russia deepening an alliance with Iran is something that the whole world and especially those in the region should look at and see as a profound threat," Patel said, adding that Washington will continue to enforce sanctions on the Russian and Iranian arms trades.