“Some considerations on the sufficiency of shells in the Russian Armed Forces” – TTG

A Russian army 2S7 howitzer after a barrel-failure.

Respected telegram channels have repeatedly raised the topic of shell hunger in the Russian Armed Forces. In particular, figures were cited that in the summer our units fired up to 60,000 shells per day along the entire front line, which was one of the reasons for their rapid consumption. 

In addition, some decisions of high military officials to store ammunition for artillery at a distance from the units operating on the front line, but always in one place and within the reach of enemy UAVs and MLRS, also led to the loss of a significant part of Soviet stocks. 

Currently, there are reports that the units are receiving 152mm shells made in 2022, the quality of which raises questions due to the large number of defects in comparison with the old batches. 

At the same time, artillerymen complain about the shortage. However, the artilleryman, as the frontline officers themselves say, loves to fire at the enemy a lot. He enters into a state of rage. It is especially good when it is allowed to spend up to 300 shells of low-precision ammunition to destroy one enemy tank at a great distance (now we will be corrected and clarified, but we tried to convey the meaning of the words by frontline officers). By the way, if a crew is able to hit/destroy an enemy tank with less than 20 shells at a great distance, the crew is considered experienced and very accurate. 

The solution to this situation should be the release of high-precision projectiles loitering UAVs and other technical solutions. As the tactics of turning the battlefield into a lunar landscape ceases to justify itself, as the advance of the front line in the hottest directions shows. Diversification of weapons is required, as well as an increase in their accuracy and range. The enemy uses 6-7 times less ammunition due to the difference in the amount of artillery. However, the accuracy and range of modern NATO 155mm shells is higher than most of ours. The Russian Armed Forces have precision-guided munitions. But they need to produce many times more.


Comment: This is from the Russian Telegram channel “Dva Majora” with over 165,000 subscribers. Seems Russian war bloggers have noted yet another problem for the Russian war effort in Ukraine. They’re running out of artillery ammunition. That’s a big problem for their artillery-centric way of war. The Rooskies have no chance of taking Bakhmut or any other city without sufficient artillery  support. They won’t even be able to hold what they got without that artillery support.  The Rooskies’ life is about to suck mightily once the ground freezes solid.

I didn’t think they would ever run out of artillery shells given the firing rates they kept up over the summer. I don’t think they ever thought they would be running low either. But all those precision strikes on Russian ASPs have taken their toll. And the admission that newly manufactured shells have serious deficiencies should give the Rooskies pause. Are Putin’s workers just not as motivated as the old Soviet workers or are Russians deliberately sabotaging the war effort. I think they will be hard pressed to get a reliable supply of precision guided artillery shells.

Along a similar line, a video of two Wagner Group cannon cockers standing behind their towed artillery piece. It appears to be a MT-12 100mm Rapira anti-tank gun. They have a warm message for General Gerasimov.

To the Chief of the General Staff (of Russia)

You are a faggot and a fucking jerk. Get something to fight. We have no shells. The boys are dying for us. And we sit here and do not help. We need shells. We want to smash everyone. We are fighting under the Bakhmut against the entire Ukrainian Army. Where are you? There is nothing left to call you except for one word – faggot. Where are you when the boys die?

This apparent use of a Rapira for indirect fire support coincides with the increased use of Russian tanks in the indirect fire mode, another indication of artillery shell shortages. While it is marvelous that firing tables and methods are in place to do this, it was never meant to be a substitute for howitzers and mortars. The method is lacking in accuracy and tank gun barrels wear out even faster than the howitzer gun barrels. Before long the Rooskies will end up with little more than dwindling hordes of drunken, frostbitten mobiks charging across fields with their Mosin-Nagant rifles.


This entry was posted in TTG, Ukraine Crisis. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to “Some considerations on the sufficiency of shells in the Russian Armed Forces” – TTG

  1. Yeah, Right says:

    “Respected telegram channels have”.. proven to be rather thin on the ground, haven’t they?

  2. borko says:


    maybe they are hoarding the ammo in preparation for some big offensive.

    Engles airbase got hit again killing a few soldiers. In standard Russian manner, they claim to have shot down the attacking drone but somehow the debris killed those soldiers.

    Either the Ukrainians have some super modern, stealthy drones, or there is something very wrong with Russian air defense. You’d think, they would be able to protect strategic airbases deep inside Russia. Especially since the enemy recently demonstrated their ability to attack them.

  3. Whitewall says:

    Those two ‘Wagnerites’ have an excellent command of the English language. The Russian chief may or may not be a faggot, but I’ll bet he is warm and well fed where ever he is.

    • TTG says:


      The Wagnerites spoke in Russian on the video. It’s been translated. Today Prigozhin supported their comments and admitted there is an artillery ammunition supply problem. Perhaps Russia’s MOD sees Prigozhin as a dangerous competitor and is deliberately starving his PMC of ammo. But I would think it would be Prigozhin’s duty to supply his PMC rather than lay the blame on Gerasimov. It would be interesting to see how the MOD contract with the Wagner Group is worded.

  4. Fred says:

    “… always in one place and within the reach of enemy UAVs and MLRS…”

    So the supply depot for direct support of units on the front are close to the front? Wow, imagine that. How far back should they be given the need to keep units supplied and just how many troops are needed to guard them, and where would you get those if you wanted to double or tripple the number of depots? Does the later affect the number of troops on the line? Just curious, as I hear the Russians have a moral and recruiting problem.

    “increased use of Russian tanks in the indirect fire mode”
    Didn’t we do just that in Korea?

  5. Whitewall says:

    A Russian sausage tycoon is now suddenly dead? Just too much. The Wagner boys might be onto something.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      See below from the article you cite. “Sharma” is a variant of Shawarma. I suspect phoney Baloney is involved. Be on the lookout for Corporal Kielbasa. I am joking but it sure is wierd what with Baloney being prison food etc. Think prison, think food, think murder and who comes to mind? Chef Boyar D.

      Superintendent Vivekananda Sharma of Odisha police said Mr Budanov was found to have suffered a stroke while his friend “was depressed after his death and he too died”. The Russian consul in Kolkata, Alexei Idamkin, told the Tass news agency that police did not see a “criminal element in these tragic events”.

  6. Fourth and Long says:


    Interesting channel.

    May I take a clue from one of the 322 comments to the post from which you quote to say that the shell shortage may be fictitious in the same sense as is the Coriolus force? That it may indicate very sub-optimal logistics including insufficiency of trucks and maintenance thereof?

    You are the professional, not me. You would be far better able to choose between the two possible realities of 1- Shell shortage versus 2- Shoddy logistics as to which is materially more perilous a situation for the Russian forces. Which might motivate an officer of their side to spread wide the story of Shell shortage. Off the top of my head comes the award winning observation that shells are less expensive to produce than trucks. Then again 60,000 per day times 200 days is 12 million. 5,000 pd for 200 days is 1 million.
    All as useless as week old milk left outside in the summer without trucks.

    Shell shortage, if you buy into the idea, leaves you open also to believing no offensive is likely or even possible in the near to medium term. I’m not accusing you of being deceptive because such a deception would favor the Russian side who you don’t support, plus you probably feel obligated to discuss the topic since it’s relevant and being discussed widely for awhile now.

    The remarks by Medvedev quoted in the piece linked below do tend to support the idea that things are sure looking dismal in Mudville. It’s suggested that the municipal boundaries of Mudville be extended several thousand miles. None of Mudville’s new inhabitants are likely to smile at that.

    I know you’ll say or think that it’s difficult to take anything any of these people seriously and you’re right if so. Could they be speaking on behalf of people who you indeed would take seriously, and who would for battle purposes conceal that they are in charge behind the scenes? It seems unlikely at the moment but increasingly possible as time passes.

    They are embarking on a huge reorganization of their military. Really? If so the west has obviously won already. An ongoing heavily armed conventional slugfest that Russia is in no position to win is music to the ears of the MIC, Joe Biden, etc.

    Has anyone considered that something or someone or some other countries or country wants the US and Russia to destroy each other? I have my own candidates.
    After Zelensky’s Washington trip, Ukraine launches another attack inside Russia

    A glimpse into the Biden administration’s thinking was provided by an article in the New York Times reporting the US rationale for encouraging increasingly escalatory actions.

    “Ukraine is striking more boldly at targets deep in Russian territory because Kyiv has assessed that Moscow’s military is fighting at the limits of its conventional capabilities,” the Times reported.

    It continues, “With the sense widespread in Kyiv among officials and civilians that, short of nuclear intensification, Russia cannot do much more to Ukraine that it is not already doing, the allure of curtailing Moscow’s missile capabilities at home outweighs any escalatory concern.”

    The newspaper quoted a Ukrainian colonel, who concluded, “There is no reaction… Why? Because the Russians simply do not have capacity to do so.”

    Critically, the Times observed that “American officials clarified they will not object to Ukraine striking back with its own weaponry.”

    So far, the Putin government has responded to the provocations of the United States and its proxy in Kiev by unleashing repeated airstrikes against Ukraine’s power infrastructure, with devastating consequences for the people of Ukraine. As many as one-quarter of the country’s population is currently without power, Zelensky said in a speech this week.

    But despite the insistence of the Times that Russia will not respond with its own escalation, the events of the past week have sparked a major change in tone on the part of Russian officials.

    Then, on December 25, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, for the first time suggested that Russia might carry out a preemptive strike against the US and its allies.

    “The only thing that stops our enemies today is the understanding that Russia will be guided by the Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the field of nuclear deterrence. And if there is a real threat, it will act on them,” Medvedev wrote in an 4,500-word article for the Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

    “The trouble is that in this case, no one will subsequently figure out what it was—a retaliatory strike or a preventive one. This, of course, frightens Western benefactors, who for a long time inspired the Ukrainian political rabble with the illusion of invulnerability and impunity in exchange for complete obedience. Therefore, the Western world is balancing between a burning desire to maximally humiliate, offend, dismember and destroy Russia, on the one hand, and the desire to avoid a nuclear apocalypse, on the other.”

    He asked, “Is the West ready to unleash a fully-fledged war against us, including a nuclear war, at the hands of Kyiv?”

    • LeaNder says:

      He asked, “Is the West ready to unleash a fully-fledged war against us, including a nuclear war, at the hands of Kyiv?

      Is Dmitry Medvedev playing the top hawk in the Putin/or ‘Russian pride’ circles? Out to promote himself in the latter?

      There was this Ukrainian news item not too long ago, supposedly 53% Ukrainians support a nuclear rearmament of the Ukraine vs under 43% who don’t. Well they can have ours (fnord).

      Kiev Post, December 13, 2022, Jason Jay Smart:

      According to the new poll, 53 percent support Ukraine rearming itself with nuclear weapons, with 43 percent of those polled disapproving.

      Asked about how to best deter future Russian attacks on Ukraine, 61 percent of those polled bet on Ukraine’s NATO ascension; 50 percent on the nuclear disarmament of Russia; and 34 percent for both Ukraine joining the EU and for guarantees from the West of weapons for Ukraine.

      Room full of mirrors?

    • fredw says:

      Fourth and Long
      “a burning desire to maximally humiliate, offend, dismember and destroy Russia”

      Nonsense, of course. Some Russians do think that. But the truth is, for them, even worse. The truth is that in the normal course of things we don’t think about them at all. They have not managed their affairs in ways that make them relevant to us except as a source of raw materials. They were developing that line pretty effectively over the last dozen years. But now they have chosen not to play in that system anymore. That will cost the Europeans a great deal. But Russia will either become reliable or irrelevant. “Reliable” would require changes even more difficult than “irrelevant”. So my money is on “irrelevant”, however expensive that may be.

  7. Fourth and Long says:

    A plain vanilla (non high precision) artillery shell cost is $1000 (?!). Sounds rather darn high.
    At 60,000 per day that is $60 million. The fancy high precision ones go for between $10,000 to $100,000 each.


    • JamesT says:

      In my view, one of the big advantages that NATO has is that NATO weapons contractors have to compete with firms in other NATO countries. Russian weapons contractors, on the other hand, exist in a protected marketplace. The Russian leadership would be well advised to expose their armaments industry to more competition.

      It is when such competition in NATO does not obtain – F35 I am looking at you – that things go awry.

      • fredw says:

        James T
        “The Russian leadership would be well advised to expose their armaments industry to more competition.”

        The dynamics of Putinism have driven the Russians in precisely the opposite direction. “During February 2006, the Russian government merged Sukhoi with Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Tupolev, and Yakovlev as a new company named United Aircraft Corporation.”


        Not that the US is in position to gloat. Mergers have been reducing our options as well.

        • JamesT says:

          I actually think that mergers within Russia make sense – Russia doesn’t have an enormous GDP, how many firms can their budget support? But they need competition. They need exposure to competition from China and maybe Iran. The problem for them is that China will never embrace free trade, certainly not in defence industries.

          Russia is in a tough spot. I know that everyone likes to talk about “Putin corruption” but Russia is experiencing the exact same problems that Brazil and Malaysia had with their “import substitution” strategies – and the US has done a very good job of strangling Russia’s attempt to implement the well proven “export led growth strategy” described in How Asia Works.

          It sucks to be Putin.

  8. Leith says:

    It is their own fault. They tried to replicate the hubcap to hubcap artillery of the Red Army of 1944/1945. They expended millions of shells to take Popasna/Sieverodonetsk/Lysychansk/etc last summer with no thought of protecting their ammo dumps. That does not work too well when the other side has long range, highly accurate weapon systems. Plus there is a motivated partisan force behind the lines reporting on location of rail and road junctions where supplies are transferred from boxcars to Kamaz trucks. And the antiquated logistics handling methods of the RU army also seems to be vintage WW2.

    PS – whatever happened to Little Kim’s offer of supplying Putin with ammo. Are there a couple of million 152mm shells sitting on a siding somewhere east of Baikal on the Trans-Siberian Railway? What a target that would make!

    • Leith says:

      PPS – Putin’s cannon cockers also wasted many tons of ammunition by shelling civilian targets over the past ten months. They are still doing it currently, targeting residential areas in Kherson, Kharkhiv, and other areas.

  9. JamesT says:

    These “Russia is running low on artillery” pieces are in danger of gaining the same status as Gordon Chang’s famous 2001 book “The Coming Collapse of China”. That said – they are more sober and more believable to my ears than what I am hearing from the likes of Scott Ritter.

  10. Whitewall says:

    I get the feeling the retirement plan for ex Soviet officers is not that good.

    This poor fellow built tanks and another recently expired officer built subs.

Comments are closed.