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Kim backs Vlad: North Korea secretly sends Putin artillery shells as Russia batters Ukraine with strikes
2 November 2022, 15:01
North Korean despot Kim Jong Un has backed his ally Vladimir Putin by secretly sending artillery shells to help the bloody invasion of Ukraine.
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The 38-year-old tyrant's government has hidden them in shipments that were disguised as if they were destined for the Middle East or North Africa.
He joins Iran in the club of sick regimes to send weapons for Moscow's use against Ukrainians, all the while keeping their own people under their thumb.
Ukraine's staunch resistance and determined counter attacks have dwindled the Russian military's weapon stocks and forced them to turn to their crooked allies for help.
It is another humiliation for the Kremlin regime which desperately wants their country to be perceived as a superpower.
The White House said: "In September, [North Korea] publicly denied that it intended to provide ammunition to Russia.
"However, our information indicates that [North Korea] is covertly supplying Russia's war in Ukraine with a significant number of artillery shells, while obfuscating the real destination of the arms shipments by trying to make it appear as though they are being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa."
There were past rumours that North Korea, a brutal communist dictatorship, would deploy its workers to occupied Ukraine to help Russia rebuild it after the invaders levelled cities throughout the south and the east of the country.
The artillery shells are being sent at a time when Moscow, humiliated into withdrawals and desperately clinging on to what is has taken, has started targeting civilian infrastructure.
It is feared the Russians are hoping to force Ukrainian into a savage winter by attacking energy facilities, plunging them into darkness and cold in a bid to demoralise them.
And amid suggestions they are exhausting precision munitions in the drawn-out war, Russia has already turned to Iran, which supplied suicide drones for use against Ukraine.
While Russia's reliance on Iran – a country it's had close ties with – for weapons was already criticised, its reliance on the hermit kingdom of North Korea will invite even more condemnation.
It will remain to be seen how the shipment of shells affects the war. Putin has deployed tens of thousands of rapidly-trained and poorly-equipped conscripts to the front to try and hold the line against Ukraine's counter attacks.
Kyiv's forces are putting pressure on Kherson, in the south, the only provincial capital Russia managed to take since the invasion began.
And it launched a stunning assault in the east, retaking swathes of territory from Moscow's military.
Concerns rumble on that Putin will end up being so desperate about the situation in Ukraine – under pressure from nationalist voices angry at the failures in the war, and fearing for his position – that he could use a tactical nuclear strike.
But former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he does not believe Putin will, saying such an act would be "crazy".