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Moscow on the verge of gaining the upper hand militarily in Ukraine, according to Oslo

Photo: Roman Pilipey Agence France-Presse Ukrainian soldiers work on a trench system in the Zaporizhia region, January 30, 2024.

France Media Agency in Oslo

February 12, 2024

  • Europe

Russia is gaining the upper hand militarily in Ukraine thanks to a larger pool of forces and material support from countries including North Korea and China, Norwegian intelligence warned Monday.

Presenting the Norwegian security services' annual risk assessment report, military intelligence chief Nils Andreas Stensønes said Kiev will need “substantial” Western military aid to hope to turn the situation around.

“In this war, Russia is currently in a stronger position than a year ago and is gaining the advantage,” Officer Stensønes told the press.

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To support this, he argued that Russia “could mobilize about three times as many troops as Ukraine”, that “Moscow is adapting to sanctions better than expected” and that its industry is now capable of producing munitions, vehicles combat weapons, drones and missiles, allowing its forces to “maintain their war efforts year-round.”

Russia, he said, benefits from military support from North Korea, Iran, Belarus and China, which he said has not provided any weapons, but “machinery, vehicles, electronics and spare parts” useful to the Russian arms industry.

“Substantial Western arms assistance will be required so that the Ukrainian forces can defend themselves and regain the initiative in the conflict,” he stressed, recalling the needs for ammunition, long-range weapons range, air defense, tanks and combat aircraft.

Norway is, with Denmark and the Netherlands in particular, one of the European countries to have committed to supplying Ukraine with F-16 fighters, an aircraft that Kiev is insistently requesting from its allies.

“Norway and Europe must be prepared to take more responsibility for ensuring their own security and that of their allies,” responded Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram. If the United States has been the main military supporter of kyiv since the Russian invasion in February 2022, the inability of Congress to release new aid and the possible return of Donald Trump to the White House place increased responsibility on Europeans.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116