Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine hasn’t miraculously become more successful following the fiery death of Coup Guy Yevgeny Prigozhin. This has apparently only caused the Russian president to maneuver even harder while denying Turkish efforts to revive a grain deal with Ukraine. Putin has also been dealing with Ruble woes around the same time that he’s been cozying up more to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. And according to a new BBC report, Putin is so desperate to replenish Russia’s drained artillery supplies that he is preparing to buy a ton of subpar and even dangerous replenishments from North Korea.
Kim Jong Un, of course, would love any Russian money that he can get, given that Western sanctions have been dragging down his game for awhile. At what price for Putin, though? We’ve already heard that his soldiers have long had to resort to using ammo that’s so antiquated and degraded that it could kill Russian soldiers upon firing. The BBC is now reporting that North Korea’s stockpiles probably won’t make matters better for Putin, and even though Kim Jong Un has apparently wavered on actually visiting Putin, the exchange of weapons and money could still happen even though they are in a terrible state:
John Everard, who served as UK ambassador to North Korea between 2006 and 2008, told the BBC that publicity around the possible visit was a “strong reason why the visit is now unlikely to take place”, as Mr Kim is “completely paranoid about his personal security”.
North Korea has stockpiles of weapons that Moscow needs and which would work with Soviet-era military equipment, although Mr Everard said the weapons were “in very poor condition”.
The New York Times originally reported upon this planned deal, which is said to please Kim Jong Un to pieces, not only for the money but because he wants to “finally be needed by an important neighbor.” However, this deal sound like a (further) disaster in the making for Russia since Putin’s replenishment troops have been largely inexperienced and cannot repair their own tanks. Now, he’ll likely be sending them out into an even more dangerous situation. As long as the cabbage situation is still working for Putin, though, he probably isn’t losing all hope yet.