Intense fighting in Ukraine has caused its military to almost run out of ammunition, with stocks not being replenished in time, Igor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office, told Bloomberg. The official also called on the West to provide Kiev with long-range artillery systems, tanks and fighter jets.
In an interview with the outlet on Thursday, Zhovkva lamented that “now we are having like almost zero ammunition,” a situation that makes it harder for the Ukrainian military to respond to Russian shelling.
“We are running [out] of the ammunition very quickly because the fighting is intensive,” he explained, adding that Russian forces boast more firepower.
Zelensky’s staffer also noted that Kiev needs long-range missiles to “de-occupy Ukrainian territory,” as opposed to hitting targets inside Russia. According to the official, this type of weaponry would be crucial to launch a counteroffensive against Moscow’s forces.
Commenting on the military aid already provided by the West, Zhovkva said that it was “too late, too little, and too slow.”
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reacted to the news that the British government was considering donating some of its warplanes to Ukraine, by warning that the UK and several other European nations are becoming increasingly involved in the conflict.
“The line between indirect and direct involvement is gradually disappearing,” he stressed, adding that this fuels further escalation.
Peskov pointed out, however, that while unnecessarily prolonging the fighting, Western arms shipments will not be able to change the outcome of the conflict or prevent Russia from achieving its goals.
The low ammo stock issue is covered by a January 2023 CSIS report (https://www.csis.org/analysis/empty-bins-wartime-environment-challenge-us-defense-industrial-base). Here are some quotes:
- “The U.S. defense industrial bas is not adequately prepared for the competitive security environment that now exists. It is currently operating at a tempo better suited to a peacetime environment.”
- “Nevertheless, battlefield consumption rates in Ukraine have strained the defense industrial base to produce sufficient quantities of some munitions and weapons systems. Since many of the weapons systems and munitions have come directly from U.S. inventories, U.S. assistance has depleted some stockpiles that could be used for training, future contingencies, or other operational needs.”
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