Ukraine has asked its allies to supply ammunition and artillery “immediately”, warning that it is short of stocks to protect against a Russian offensive Kyiv fears.
Olha Stefanishyna was the deputy prime minister and made the demand on a day that Moscow had launched ballistic missiles at Ukraine’s infrastructure. It was also the result of President Volodymyr Zeleskyy’s tour of western capitals, which stressed long-term supplies for fighter jets as well as heavy weaponry.
Stefanishyna spoke to the Financial Times about the urgent need for ammunition and artillery in order to be able to operate with the newly acquired military equipment. “We don’t have the ammunition we need.”
As the Kremlin attempts more territory in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, the Kremlin is making preparations for an imminent attack on Kyiv by Russian troops. This comes ahead of the first anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion in full-scale later in the month.
As it engages in punishing confrontations with Russia, Ukraine’s army is using ammunition at an unimaginable rate. This raises concerns about the availability of supplies.
The Ukrainian artillery fires more than 5,000 rounds per day, which is equal to the orders of a smaller European country in a single year. This high rate of use has put enormous strain on Europe’s defense producers, compounding supply chain challenges as well as increasing lead times for many types of munitions.
Zelenskyy’s top official in charge of European integration, Stefanishyna warned that Russia was doing everything possible to make the war “continuous, lasting, and exhausting”. She also stated that Moscow had the resources and ammunition to carry on its campaign.
Charles Michel, President of the EU Council, said Friday that the bloc must “cooperate” with the industrial sector to increase the production of ammunition.
Russian strikes against the Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure came after Moscow announced that it would reduce oil production to meet a price cap. This is its first indication it wants to weaponize oil supplies, having cut natural gas exports to Europe last summer.
According to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi (chief of Ukraine’s general staff), the Russian forces launched 71 cruise missiles, seven Iranian-supplied Shahed strike drones, and 35 S-300 rockets during the attack. He said that five of the drones and 61 cruise missiles were shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
One missile crossed into Moldovan airspace. After the intelligence agency of Moldova stated that Russia’s security service was trying to undermine the former Soviet republic, Natalia Gavrilita was later forced to resign as Moldova’s prime Minister.
As a sign of growing international tensions, Alexander Novak (Russia’s chief negotiator for the Opec+ group oil producers) stated that Russia was cutting production by 500,000 barrels per day to counter the “destructive energy policy of the countries in the collective west.” This is almost 5% of Russia’s total production.
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