Ammunition Depleted, Ukraine Relies On Weapons Aid From The West to Fight Russia

Ammunition Depleted, Ukraine Relies On Weapons Aid From The West to Fight Russia
Germany supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons

International Military - Ukraine's deputy head of military intelligence said Kiev had lost to Russia on the front lines and was now almost completely dependent on weapons from the west to confront Moscow's forces. "This is an artillery war now," said Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine's deputy head of military intelligence.

According to him, Ukraine lost artillery in battles on the front lines that will determine the future. "Everything now depends on what (the West) gives us," Skibitsky said. “Ukraine has one artillery (against) 10 to 15 Russian artillery pieces. Our western partners have given us about 10% of what they have,” he explained.

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According to Skibitsky, Ukraine uses 5,000 to 6,000 artillery shells a day. "We have almost exhausted all our (artillery) ammunition and are now using standard 155-caliber NATO rounds," he said of ammunition fired from artillery.

"Europe also sends lower caliber bullets but as Europe runs out, the numbers are getting smaller," he said. Skibitsky stressed the need for the west to supply Ukraine with long-range rocket systems to destroy Russian artillery from afar.

This week, Ukraine's presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych told the Guardian that Ukraine needs 60 more multiple rocket launchers than Britain and the United States have promised so far to have any chance of beating Russia. Ukraine has prepared a list of weapons and defense equipment that will be requested from the west at the contact group meeting with NATO in Brussels on June 15.

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Skibitsky thinks the conflict will remain dominated by artillery warfare in the near future and the number of rocket attacks that can be launched from Russia and hit civilians will remain at current levels. In the first month, Russia continuously attacked Ukraine with rockets but in the last two months it has slowed down.

The latest figures published by the head of the Ukrainian armed forces confirm that Russia launched between 10 and 14 days. Rockets are expensive to manufacture. Each rocket can cost anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million. “We have noticed that Russia is carrying out far fewer rocket attacks and has used H-22 rockets; it was a 1970s Soviet rocket," Skibitsky said.

"This shows that Russia is out of rockets," he concluded. Read also: Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are fighting non-stop on the streets of Sievierodonetsk Skibitsky says Russia cannot produce rockets quickly because of sanctions and has used up about 60% of its supply.

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The sound of sirens has become an everyday feature for Ukrainian citizens. Sirens regularly sound in several areas at the same time but most of the time, for people in the field, they pass without a loud sound. According to Skibitsky, each siren signaled a rocket had entered Ukrainian airspace but its impact was not always reported for security reasons.

“The rockets take anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes to impact, depending on where they are launched from. We don't know where they're going to land," Skibitsky said.

He noted that Russia is currently using long-range bombers that can reach any area of ​​Ukraine without leaving Russian airspace. Regarding the three fronts, Skibitsky said most of the Russian troops are now concentrated in the Donbas region and are trying to occupy the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

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This was the area, he said, where the artillery fighting was heaviest. In northeastern Ukraine, around Kharkiv, he said Russian troops were focused on defense after a Ukrainian counter-offensive pushed them out of several towns and villages in the region in May. "The threat to Kharkiv has diminished," said Skibitsky, from Ukraine's second-largest city, which has been bombed regularly since the start of the war.

Finally, in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, two regions of southern Ukraine that are almost entirely occupied by Russia, Russian forces are digging for the long haul, Skibitsky said. According to him, they build a double defense line, sometimes tripled.

"Now it will be more difficult to get the territory back," Skibitsky said. "And that's why we need weapons." “If they succeed in Donbas, they can use this territory to launch another attack on Odesa, cities of Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro,” Skibitsky explained of the major cities under Ukrainian control close to southern Russia, occupied areas.

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"Their goals are all of Ukraine and more," he added. Ukrainian military intelligence believes that Russia can continue at its current pace without building more weapons or mobilizing the population for another year.

Skibitsky did not rule out the possibility that Russia would freeze the war for a period of time to convince the West to lift sanctions. "But then they will start again looking at the last eight years," he concluded.

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