Ukraine says it can’t fire more than 2,000 shells a day as Western allies fail to meet pledges: report

  • Ukraine is able to fire just 2,000 shells a day, its defense minister said.

  • That’s about a third of what Russia is firing, Rustem Umerov added.

  • In a letter seen by Bloomberg, Umerov urged his EU counterparts to fulfill their ammo commitments.

Ukraine is limited to firing 2,000 artillery shells a day, roughly one-third of Russia’s capacity, the country’s defense minister, Rustem Umerov, said in a letter seen by Bloomberg.

Writing to his EU counterparts, Umerov urged the bloc to fulfill its commitment of one million artillery shells as Ukraine’s capacities are stretched thin across a 930-mile front line, the outlet reported.

European countries have been lagging on their promise to send the vast stores of ammo, first made in March last year.

As of November, the bloc had sent just 300,000 of the promised ammunition, an unnamed senior EU official told Politico, adding that it will be “very difficult to reach” the total by March.

Germany’s defense minister, Boris Pistorius, confirmed the challenge soon after.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s weapons shortages are worsening every day, Umerov said, per Bloomberg.

The US has acknowledged the problem, with Celeste Wallander, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, telling reporters in January that the Pentagon is aware of concerns that Ukraine’s armed forces “do not have the stocks and the stores of ammunition that they require.”

While Ukraine’s Western allies stall, and US military aid is held up in Congress, Russia has ramped up production.

Martin Herem, commander of Estonia’s defense forces, told Bloomberg last week that he believes Russia is now capable of producing several million shells a year.

Shell hunger is not a new problem for Ukraine — throughout the last year, soldiers often reported having to husband their ammunition supplies.

Increasingly, reports suggest that in some cases Ukrainian forces can no longer fulfill all their combat operations.

In December, one soldier told The Times of London that he now declines to target small groups of Russians, considering it not worth the expense in ammunition.

“We cannot fulfill our tasks 100% although we want to,” one commander told CNN last month.

Alongside further appeals to its allies, Ukraine has, in recent months, been refocusing on its domestic military production capacities.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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