Ukrainian intelligence on Tuesday claimed Russian naval forces have refused to engage in combat operations off of Ukraine’s southern coastline over concerns that Russia is relying on Chinese-made household appliances for desperately needed parts.
Despite the Kremlin’s claims that international sanctions are having little effect on its war effort, Russian forces have reportedly been unable to replenish parts needed for its vessels in the Black Sea.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has claimed that Russian forces are now relying on parts from Chinese-made household appliances to fix damage inflicted on its fleet’s navigation and diesel systems.
The ministry claimed that not only were the parts bought at an “inflated” rate, but Russian commanders have been working to hide the situation from their own servicemen.
“The invaders decided to secretly write collective letters to [Russian President Vladimir Putin] and [Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu], in which they reveal all the financial schemes of the command,” the intelligence branch claimed in a statement translated by Interfax.
Russia is holding the threat of high treason and a 15-year prison sentence over anyone who is found to have leaked information regarding its Navy’s latest hurdle.
“The occupiers, who are familiar with [the] ‘import substitutions’, perceive each trip to the sea as a one-way ticket,” intelligence officials claimed Tuesday.
The ministry said sailors from Russia’s 106th brigade of surface warships from its Caspian flotilla have refused “to perform combat tasks” following the news of their ship’s state of repair.
Senior U.S. defense officials have said that Russia has made “incremental” gains in the Black Sea, but they have yet to make any major advances.
Gen. Mark Milley said Monday that there is “a bit of a stalemate” between Ukrainian and Russian vessels.
Ukrainian forces have prevented Russian troops from making any sort of amphibious landing in Odesa, Milley confirmed.
Russian officials have said they will attempt to gain complete control over Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions, which would not only give them access to Ukraine’s ports but would give Russia clearer access to Moldova’s Transnistria breakaway region.
Ukraine’s defense ministry on Tuesday said the situation in the Black Sea and around the Sea of Azov remains unchanged.