- Russia hasn’t fulfilled a weapons delivery contract, India says.
- India says the Ukraine war meant Russia was unable to export the weapons it ordered.
- Russia has long been a major arms exporter, but is now struggling to supply its own army in Ukraine.
Russia failed to supply weapons it had been contracted to deliver because of being embroiled in the war in Ukraine, according to the Indian military, one of the Kremlin’s main customers.
The Indian Air Force disclosed this week to its parliament that a “major delivery” contracted from Russia would not be showing up.
The delay was blamed on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has cost vast numbers of lives and destroyed tanks, helicopters, planes and other equipment in large numbers.
It did not say what was missing, though Reuters reported that Russia had been due to deliver two S-400 Triumf air-defense systems.
The S-400s would have completed an order for five systems, which India bought for a total $5.4 billion in 2018.
According to the report, India also relies on Moscow for parts for its fleet of Su-30MKI and MiG-29 fighter jets: both Russian models.
Russia has long been India’s largest arms supplier, with a March report from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute saying that Russia supplies around 45% of its weapons and military equipment.
That study noted that invading Ukraine harmed Russia’s ability to export its weapons, as so many were diverted to the front in Ukraine.
A US official in February said that Russian forces were suffering acute ammunition shortages, and its number of tanks was running low. Reports have abounded of Russian soldiers on the front complaining of inadequate weaponry.
As Insider reported in March, Russia is still touting its wares at international arms shows despite leaving its troops in Ukraine to get by with Soviet-era equipment.
The report came as Russia attempted to gear up its weapons production in the hope of gaining ground in Ukraine.
At a visit to an arms-manufacturing plant in Tula last December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia must increase the rate of its weapon production and improve their quality, the US-funded site Voice of America reported.
—max seddon (@maxseddon) March 24, 2023
Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president, ramped up the pressure at a recent meeting on arms supply, reading out a WWII-era message from Soviet dictator Josef Stalin threatening to “crush” factory chiefs who didn’t boost production.
A spokesperson at the Russian embassy in New Delhi told Reuters that “we don’t have information which may confirm” what was in the Indian report.