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Allies like North Korea and China give Russia an advantage over Ukraine, Norway says

Russia is starting to gain an advantage in its war against Ukraine thanks to support from its allies like China and North Korea, according to Norwegian military intelligence.

Nils Stensønes, director of the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS), told reporters on Monday after the release of Olso’s annual security threat assessment, “Focus,” that Moscow is in a “stronger position than “she wasn’t a year ago and she’s on the verge of victory.” the upper hand” against Kiev’s troops. He added that Russia is capable of mobilizing “three times more troops than Ukraine” if necessary, stressing that Kiev would need “significant” military aid from its Western partners to turn the tide of the war.

“Russia is adapting to sanctions better than expected and its industry is capable of producing a sufficient amount of munitions, combat vehicles, drones and missiles,” Stensønes said.

The Norwegian intelligence director added that Russia’s success was partly due to military support from countries such as Belarus, China, Iran and North Korea. Moscow and Tehran announced plans last month to strengthen ties to counter sanctions imposed by the West, and Iran has supplied the Russian army with Shahed drones since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Belarus is also a known ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Countries like China, however, have tried to appear neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, even though Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun declared his full support for the Russian invasion in a video call earlier this month . Stensønes noted Monday that while China does not send weapons to Moscow, it provides “machinery, transportation, electronics and spare parts” that are useful to the Russian military.

North Korea has also been accused by the United States and other Western powers of supplying weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine, including missiles. Moscow officials have denied the allegations.

“Russian and Chinese authorities share the ambition to undermine Western influence and establish an international order in which liberal values ​​such as democracy and freedom of expression do not set the course,” said Monday Stensønes in a press release attached to the NIS report. . “Cooperation between authoritarian states is intensifying. The international rule of law is weakened and the world is rearming.”

News week contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment via email.

Stensønes’ comments follow reports of Russian advances in recent days along the eastern front lines. The Institute for the Study of War said in an assessment Sunday that Moscow troops were closing in on Avdiivka, a village in the Donetsk region that has been at the center of fighting for months. Ukrainian officials vowed Sunday that their forces would “continue to hold back the enemy” despite Russia’s continued attacks on Avdiivka.

Allies like North Korea and China give Russia an advantage
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region on September 13, 2023, ahead of planned talks that could …