Turkey pulls rug from under Russia in humiliating blow as Putin charm offensive backfires


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Vladimir Putin has been desperately scrambling for support for his ailing war effort as Western powers continue to smash his country’s economy with damaging sanctions. On Tuesday, the Russian President travelled to Iran for talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in an attempt to deepen ties between the two countries who are both under Western sanctions. He also met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss a deal that would resume Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports, now blockaded by Russia.

Earlier this month, Russia indicated for the first time it is running out of weapons in the war after the Government drafted federal law to enable the country to quickly repair weapons and military equipment.

But efforts to ramp up weaponry have suffered a huger blow after a drone maker from Turkey insisted it would still not be supplying Russia with its products.

Samuel Ramani, associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, tweeted: “The CEO of Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar rules out supplying Russia with drones and emphasized how Bayratkar TB-2 drone transfers create solidarity with Ukraine.

“Even before the Ukraine war, Turkey has refused to supply drones to Russia.”

Just weeks ago, Russia appeared to admit it was already running out of weapons in the Ukraine war – just over four months after the invasion started.

On July 1, the Kremlin submitted a bill to the State Duma “special economic measures” for “counterterrorist and other operations” outside of Russia.

There was a separate explanatory note attached to the bill which said there is “a short-term increased need for the repair of weapons and military equipment.”

The bill proposed several measures, including “the implementation of material assets from state reserves” and “the temporary activation of mobilisation capacities and facilities”.

READ MORE: Russia ‘laying groundwork’ to annex new Ukrainian territories

Referring to the war in Ukraine, the draft law text noted the need for Russia to repair its weapons and military equipment amid “a special military operation in the territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic and Ukraine”.

Last month, it was reported Russia had already used up much of its military capacity in the first 100 days of its invasion of Ukraine.

This led to suggestions Moscow may have only been a few months away from needing to slow operations for a major regroup, with the Kremlin also possibly being forced to to announce a mass mobilization in order to call up soldiers to continue the fight.

But this would be a major embarrassment for Putin, as it would amount to public admission the war isn’t going as initially planned.

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Last month, a Western official warned Russia risks running out of ammunition as the deadlock deepened in eastern Ukraine.

They said: “In terms of force generation, Russia is effectively selling off the family silver.

“The deployment of reserves links to a key point of assessment – there will presumably come a point when Russia will cease to be able to generate effective, offensive combat power, due to a lack of ammunition, low morale and simply a shortage of combat units.

“We can’t yet speculate when exactly that point might be reached, and clearly the Ukrainian military have faced their own challenges too.”

The official claimed “expensive, advanced weaponry takes a considerable amount of time to produce under specialised conditions”, adding: “At any one time any country holds a limited stockpile.

“From Russia’s point of view they have expended a huge quantity of them but want to maintain a strategic reserve in the case that they need to fight a war with NATO.”


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