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Ukraine reports no artillery shortages for the first time in the war, Zelenskyy says

  • Ukraine reported for the first time that there were no shortages of artillery shells, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

  • The Ukrainian armed forces have suffered serious shortages of grenades in recent months.

  • Ukraine has failed to fire more than 2,000 artillery shells a day, the defense minister said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this week that Ukrainian armed forces had reported no shortages of artillery shells for the first time since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, the Kyiv Independent reported.

“For the first time during the war, none of the brigades complained that there were no artillery shells,” Zelenskyy said on May 16.

According to reports, the updated artillery is now helping to weaken the Russian advance around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city.

In stark contrast to the fighting in January-April, during which the US cut off all military aid to Ukraine, Ukrainian soldier and mil blogger Stanislav Osman, author of the popular Hovoryat Snaiper channel, noted that Russian forces attacking in the Kharkov sector having to deal with punishing artillery. fire and even attack helicopter attacks, The Kyiv Post reported.

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The hunger for shells

A Ukrainian soldier prepares 155mm artillery shells in his combat position as the Ukrainian army conducts an operation to target trenches of Russian troops through the Donetsk Oblast during the war between Russia and Ukraine in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on August 6, 2023.

A Ukrainian soldier prepares 155mm artillery shells in his combat position as the Ukrainian army conducts an operation to target trenches of Russian troops through the Donetsk Oblast during the war between Russia and Ukraine in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on August 6, 2023.Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukraine’s armed forces have suffered severe artillery shortages in recent months, partly because a U.S. military aid package has been stalled in Congress.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov wrote in a letter to EU colleagues in February that the shortages had prevented Ukraine from firing more than 2,000 artillery shells a day, about a third of Russia’s capacity.

Ukraine has also lost significant territory in the eastern regions since late 2023, blaming the ammunition shortage on major losses such as in the city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.

Despite President Zelensky’s optimistic reports this week, a frontline report from BBC News this week seemed to suggest that there could still be a shortage of grenades for some units.

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Petr Pavel, the president of the Czech Republic, told reporters in March that 18 countries are participating in the initiative to finance the purchases.

The release of $61 billion in U.S. aid in April also gave a boost to Ukraine’s beleaguered armed forces in the fight against the Russian invasion. $61 billion in US aid April also provided a boost to Ukraine’s hard-pressed armed forces in the fight against the Russian invasion.

Still, Russia’s artillery will likely outnumber Ukraine’s for most of 2024, officials and analysts told Foreign Policy.

Russia can produce about 250,000 artillery rounds per month – or about 3 million per year, CNN reported, citing NATO intelligence estimates of Russian defense production.

Russian forces are now focused on carrying out an offensive against the northeastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claims is part of an effort to create a “buffer zone” to protect Russian border areas from Ukrainian attacks.

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However, General Christopher Cavoli said earlier this week that Russia likely “does not have sufficient forces to achieve a ‘strategic breakthrough’ in Ukraine,” according to the Institute for the Study of War think tank.

He added that he expected Ukrainian troops to “hold the line” near the city of Kharkov.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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