Russia is rapidly expending its stockpiles of munitions, the top US intelligence official said.
Avril Haines said Moscow can't replace these stockpiles as quickly as it is going through them.
In dealing with limited precision munitions, Russia has turned to Iran and North Korea for support.
Russian forces are expending their stockpiles of munitions at a greater speed than the country's arms makers can replenish them, the top US intelligence official said recently.
Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, told the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday that Russia is burning through its munitions stockpiles "quite quickly," though she did not elaborate on any precise figures.
"I mean it's really pretty extraordinary, and our own sense is that they are not capable of indigenously producing what they are expending at this stage," Haines said during a fireside chat with NBC News journalist Andrea Mitchell. "So that is going to be a challenge, and that is why you see them going to other countries effectively to try to get ammunition."
"And of course, we've indicated that their precision munitions are running out much faster. In many respects, they have a lot of stockpiles," Haines continued, and added that "how viable those stockpiles are, how much they have, what they can use in different conflicts are obviously all questions that we look at quite carefully with our allies and partners."
For months now, Russia has been using long-range precision munitions to target civilian areas and civilian infrastructure across Ukraine while Moscow's forces continue to suffer battlefield defeats and lose territory to Kyiv's troops. War experts previously told Insider that in doing so, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been drawing from an increasingly limited stockpile of munitions for these attacks.
As recently as Monday, Russia launched a fresh barrage of missiles into Ukraine, the country's air force said. Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Moscow targeted "critical civilian infrastructure trying to deprive people of power, water, and heating amid freezing temperatures."
It is not exactly clear how many of each type of munition Russia has stockpiled, though Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov shared a graphic to social media in late November claiming to show the status of Russia's high-precision missile arsenal. The post included various missiles launched from the ground, sea, and air, and how much of a specific missile's stockpile has been exhausted over the course of the war.
US officials have said that while Russia expends massive amounts of artillery and precision-guided munitions in Ukraine — and also deals with crushing international sanctions — the country has turned to pariah governments like Iran and North Korea for weapons and military hardware.
"We've indicated we've seen some movement, but it's not been a lot at this stage, and it is one of the ones we're watching quite carefully because it would be significant, potentially," Haines said of the transfer of weapons from North Korea on Saturday.
Iran, meanwhile, has provided Russia with various drones — including the Shahed-136 suicide loitering munition — which Moscow has used to relentlessly target Ukraine's civil infrastructure. These kamikaze drones, as they have been called, are cheaper than precision munitions, making them a suitable though less destructive supplement as Russia's stockpiles run low.
"We've also seen the Russians looking for other types of precision munitions from Iran," Haines said, adding that this "will be very concerning in terms of their capacity, more generally."