Russian and Ukrainian forces last week suggested Moscow’s forces are preparing for the next stage of their offensive. But analysts suspect that given the rapid rate of ammunition and artillery use in the ongoing conflict, they would first need to regroup and stock up on resources.
The Kremlin could be about to receive support on the latter from Tehran.
Last week, Iranian officials were said to be preparing to send “several hundreds of drones” to Russia for use in the Ukraine war.
Its army ground forces commander Kiumars Heydari has now added “we are ready to export military equipment and weapons”, according to the Young Journalists Club.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian rejected such claims in a call with his Ukrainian counterpart on Friday.
The provision of military equipment would come as a blow to the West which has attempted to isolate Russia on the world stage through a series of sanctions, which also hurt home economies.
Just last month, intelligence officials argued Moscow would soon exhaust its combat capabilities by running out of arms.
One senior Western official told the Washington Post: “There will come a time when the tiny advances Russia is making become unsustainable in light of the costs.
“They will need a significant pause to regenerate capability.”
READ MORE: Widdecombe lambasts Tories for keeping quiet on free speech
The situation, the report, seen by the Independent, added, was – and is – having “a seriously demoralising effect on Ukrainian forces”.
Not only this, but also “a very real material effect; cases of desertion are growing every week”.
The West is continuing to provide backing to Ukraine, but itself suffers from low stockpiles after decades of poor management.
Britain last month had to buy howitzers from a third party to send to Ukraine because of its own deficiencies.
Iran said it opposed the war after Russian troops first moved into Ukraine in February, but it has pointed the finger of blame at NATO.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian claimed the “special military invasion” was “rooted” in the military alliance’s “provocations”.