A key factor in the war: how Ukraine and Russia solve the problem of ammunition shortages


A key factor in the war: how Ukraine and Russia solve the problem of ammunition shortages

The Ukrainian Defense Forces are preparing for their counteroffensive and stockpiling weapons while Russia fizzles out in the East. Ukraine has received positive news regarding fighters, although not Western ones, and also in the context of ammunition, which is extremely important.

While the West is helping Ukraine with weapons, Russia has begun to feel a shortage of ammunition. These factors may be of key importance during the Ukrainian counter-offensive. Channel 24 journalist Aleksey Pechiy analyzed the situation with the supply of weapons to Ukraine, as well as the problems faced by the occupiers.

Against the backdrop of the preparation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces for the spring counteroffensive, the commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrsky repeatedly assured that the accumulation of forces and means for the offensive continues.

In particular, this concerns both the preparation of powerful reserves and the accumulation of ammunition, weapons and equipment. And a number of analysts, and even the military, agree that the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine may begin closer to the middle of spring .

In the meantime, according to Syrsky, keeping Bakhmut allows you to buy time to prepare and destroy the enemy's potential . Also, according to the decision of the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander, the retention and protection of Bakhmut will continue. Moreover, this decision was supported by all members of the Headquarters.

During the meeting, the provision of weapons and ammunition to our soldiers was also analyzed and the rates and volumes of the receipt of equipment and weapons from the Allied partners and their further distribution were discussed separately.

And as for the accumulation of ammunition, weapons and equipment, there is some positive news here, from which the Russians have already started to panic.

According to British intelligence, in recent weeks the shortage of artillery ammunition in Russia has worsened so much that extremely punitive regulations for the use of ammunition are in place in many sectors of the front.

And this, according to intelligence data, is the reason why not a single Russian unit has been able to conduct operationally significant offensive operations lately. But the whole problem for the Russians is that even stocks of obsolete shells are starting to run out .

At the same time, the Kremlin is trying to get ammunition from its partners. Today, the US State Department clearly noted that the visit of dictator Lukashenka to Tehran is taking place, among other things, in the interests of the Kremlin, in order to deepen cooperation between Iran and Russia .

But Moscow and Tehran want to do this precisely through the mediation of Minsk, in order to try to hide the ties. According to US State Department spokesman Ned Price, relations between Moscow and Tehran have long been of concern, in particular in the field of military cooperation between the two countries.

At the same time, the US is concerned about the Lukashenka regime's ties to the Kremlin, in particular its desire to cede the sovereignty of its own state to Russia. So, the United States is closely following the development of relations between Russia and Iran, as well as the results of Lukashenka's visit to Tehran.

However, it is precisely the enemy's lack of ammunition that is an important starting point for talking about what stocks Ukraine is accumulating. And there is good news here.

The state concern “Ukroboronprom” began to produce 125-mm shells for a tank gun . Production is deployed in close partnership with a NATO country abroad.

The concern reported that, by order of the Ministry of Defense, the first batch of 125-mm shells for the T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks, which the Ukrainian military used to hit the Russians, had already been delivered.

It is noted that for the first time since independence, Ukraine has launched its own production of ammunition: 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, 122 mm and 152 mm artillery shells, and now a 125 mm tank shell.

At the same time, for security reasons, production was moved outside the state, however, Ukrainian designers, technologists, turners, foundry workers take part in the creation of ammunition.

But this is only the beginning, because our partners are also ready to significantly increase the production of ammunition, if only the governments of Western countries removed all bureaucratic barriers..

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said frankly that German defense companies are ready to supply ammunition in large volumes to the Armed Forces of Ukraine even today, but the whole reason for the delay is in the German government , which is in no hurry to sign the necessary agreements. But the pressure continues.

The director of Germany's largest ammunition manufacturer Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, said that the European defense industry must double the production of ammunition for Ukraine to win the war with Russia.

To make this possible, all you need is funding and the consent of the government. He added that he was confident that, with appropriate support, the defense industries of Europe and the United States would be able to supply enough military equipment to Ukraine. After all , Europe and the United States are capable of producing more than Russia will ever be able to do . And given the Russian deficit, this could be a key factor in Ukraine's victory.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine need more than 350 thousand shells per month, which is more than three times the amount they use now.

Reznikov has already applied to the European Union with a request to provide 250,000 shells per month. So the head of Rheinmetall claims that only its capacity will allow the production of 240 thousand shells . But due to the delay of the German government, the company will only produce 150,000 pieces this year.

So, Papperger assures that Europe should double the capacity for the needs of Ukraine and this is quite realistic.

It should be recalled that the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, offered to provide 1 billion euros for the joint purchase of ammunition for Ukraine. Next week, according to Bloomberg, the European Union will sign a joint ammunition procurement plan for Ukraine.

However, there are some problems here, which the head of Rheinmetall points out – you need to give the green light to defense companies to double the production capacity of ammunition, especially 155 millimeters.

The billion that Borrell offers is not enough for all the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, so this figure may increase. In fact, next week's meeting of EU foreign ministers will be extremely important in terms of what exactly will be decided there, what volumes of shells Ukraine will receive from the EU in the coming months. And there is every reason to believe that the decision will be positive.

Alexey Reznikov also had a conversation with his American colleague Lloyd Austin. This conversation took place against the backdrop of preparations for the next meeting in the Ramstein format. And it is possible that this time support can be expanded.

Moreover, there are certain signals from Britain and the United States that their support will definitely not decrease, because the security of Europe as a whole depends on it.

And here Putin again “outplayed” everyone, because the West is clearly planning to strengthen, and this strengthening is closely connected with Ukraine. In particular, on the eve of the British government published the “Updated Comprehensive Security Review 2023”. And it clearly states that the security of the UK depends on how Russia's war against Ukraine ends .

The report also states that Russia continues to be the “most acute threat” to the country . And this is a really important and powerful signal.

In addition, according to the review, the main goal of the British authorities in relation to Russia is “to deter and counter Russia's ability and intentions to violate the security of the UK, the Euro-Atlantic and the wider international order.”

However, the British government believes that China is also challenging the international order . Of particular concern is its cooperation with Russia. Against this background, London plans to increase basic defense spending in the long term.

Such a report is very important in the context of when exactly it was made public. The fact is that US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held a meeting during which they discussed strengthening further support for Ukraine .

Biden and Sunak during the meeting also noted the importance of further providing Ukraine with military, economic and humanitarian assistance. They also agreed to jointly adopt new economic measures to counter Moscow's ability to wage war against Ukraine.

So, if the two key partners of Ukraine are ready to continue to provide all the necessary support to Kyiv, then this will definitely affect the support of our other partners.

Against the backdrop of Ukraine's preparations for a counteroffensive, there is another important piece of news regarding the provision of fighter jets to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. And, as the speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yuriy Ignat says, the process of supplying Ukraine with fighters has moved off the ground.

In particular, Poland can transfer its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine to fight against Russian aggression within 4-6 weeks. That is, at the time when the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Defense Forces is announced. This was stated by Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki.

It is important to add that we are talking about MiG-29 fighters, which are in working condition and are in service with the Polish Air Force. Consequently, they can immediately begin to perform combat missions .

In addition, it is known that Slovakia has already announced that it is ready to transfer its 13 MiG-29 fighters together with Poland . Although this must first be approved by the Slovak parliament.

On the other hand, there is not very good news regarding fighters. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin explained her words about the transfer of aircraft to Ukraine, which were announced when she was in Kyiv.

She added that Finland could transfer Hornet fighters to Ukraine, which it is going to replace with American F-35s. But this will not happen until 2025, when the aircraft will be taken out of service.

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