Russia’s defence minister has urged a state company to double its production of missiles as an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive looms and both Moscow’s and Kyiv’s forces are reportedly experiencing ammunition constraints.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking at a meeting with the top military brass on Tuesday, said the state-owned Tactical Missiles Corporation had been fulfilling its contracts in a timely manner.

But, Shoigu added, “Right now, it is necessary to double the production of high-precision weapons in the shortest possible time”.

Military analysts have been trying to determine whether Russia is running low on high-precision ammunition as its missile barrages against Ukraine have become less frequent and smaller in scale.

The Institute for the Study of War said on Wednesday that Shoigu’s comments on missile production were likely designed to deflect from claims that his ministry was unable to keep Russian forces adequately stocked with ammunition as well as to appear proactive amid concerns of the impending Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The United Kingdom’s Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that “logistics problems remain at the heart of Russia’s struggling campaign in Ukraine”.

“Russia does not have enough munitions to achieve success on the offensive,” the ministry said. “Russia continues to give the highest priority to mobilising its defence industry, but it is still failing to meet war time demands.”

Russia launched a third nightly round of attacks on Kyiv in six days on Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities said early on Wednesday, but air defence systems destroyed all the Russian drones aiming at the city with no immediate reports of casualties or destruction.

Air raid sirens blared for several hours in Kyiv, the surrounding region and most of eastern Ukraine, with the skies clearing only at dawn.

“All enemy targets were identified and shot down in the airspace around the capital,” Kyiv’s military administration said on the Telegram messaging app, citing initial details.

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