Kiev has depleted all of its Russian-Soviet-made weapons and now depends exclusively on weapons supplied by its foreign allies, several U.S. military sources have warned.
Ukraine has depleted all of its Russian-Soviet-made weapons and now depends exclusively on weapons provided to it by its foreign allies, including Western artillery, according to several U.S. military sources. In fact, Ukrainian Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence Vadym Skibitsky told Guardian that his country had been firing 5,000 to 6,000 artillery shells a day since the start of the war. «It’s an artillery war now […] and we lose in terms of artillery”Warned the official, telling our colleagues that“Ukraine has an artillery piece against 10 to 15 Russian pieces». «It all depends on what the West gives usHe added.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Westerners have mobilized to support Kiev, which demanded weapons and ammunition, while at all costs avoiding any action that could be seen as a provocation by Russia. – for fear that the conflict will extend beyond the borders of Ukraine. Without saying so, they also feared that their sharp weapons would fall into the hands of the Russian army.
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Westerners therefore turned to the former Soviet bloc countries, which still had ammunition to Soviet standards, to replace those fired by Ukrainian forces on the Russian army. But even those stocks have run out, and the Russian-made European arsenal “disappeared from the surface of the planetA military official told AFP.
A “continuous flow of ammunition”
That is why the United States and other NATO allies have decided to ignore the risks of escalating conflict or technology leaks. Washington began delivering heavy equipment such as Howitzers howitzers to Ukraine, followed by state-of-the-art equipment such as Himars rocket launchers, high-precision artillery pieces and a range of more than those of the Russian army.
The Allies are working to coordinate their military assistance in Kiev, and to synchronize it so that Ukrainian forces receive a “continuous flow of ammunition“But there are also spare parts and light weapons,” said another U.S. military official. This is the stated goal of the Contact Group for Ukraine set up by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, whose first meeting was held in April in the presence of some 40 countries in Ramstein, Germany. Following a second virtual meeting in May, Ukraine’s allies are due to meet in Brussels on June 15.
And if Western armaments appear to be reaching the drop in Ukraine, it is because the Allies want to make sure that Kiev is able to absorb it safely and limit the risk of bombardment of its ammunition stocks. The United States is sending military assistance in batches, the latest of which, of June 700, announced on June 1, included four Himars artillery systems, as well as 1,000 additional Javelin anti-tank missiles and four Mi-17 helicopters. , 15,000 Howitzer shells, 15 light armor, and other ammunition of various calibers. «We try to keep a steady flowSays the second military official.
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The Himars, a decisive weapon?
Asked about the low numbers of Himars as Ukrainians appear to be struggling in the Donbass, U.S. Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said Wednesday that Washington wanted to make sure Ukrainian soldiers controlled them well before send more. The Himars is a system “sophisticated“, And”you need to certify these boys, make sure they know how to use these systems properlySaid the top US official. Operators need to be trained, as well as maintenance soldiers, as well as officers and non-commissioned officers to be deployed where needed, when needed, he explained.
For Washington, this first shipment is mostly a test balloon to ensure that Himars technology does not fall into enemy hands and that Ukrainians make good use of this expensive and sensitive equipment. But that doesn’t stop the Pentagon from preparing for the next round of military aid. Additional Himars and their ammunition are already prepackaged in Germany, and they will be sent to Ukraine if the experience with the first four units proves positive, according to another U.S. military source.
Washington, on the other hand, has ruled out granting long-range combat drones to Kiev, such as the “Gray Eagle”, Whose range reaches 300 km, enough to hit a large Russian city, according to this source.
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