NATO allies are in a “logistics race” with Russia for vital ammunition supplies for Ukrainian forces as it launches a likely offensive in eastern Ukraine, alliance chief warns bottom.
Jens Stoltenberg notes that before the one-year anniversary of President Vladimir Putin’s all-out invasion on February 24, Russia has already launched its long-anticipated offensive in eastern Ukraine, with Ukrainian forces He said it began to consume ammunition at an unprecedented rate. The NATO Secretary General’s harsh remarks came on the eve of a meeting of allied defense ministers calling for adjustments to arms supplies to Ukraine.
“The reality is that we have seen the beginning [of the Russian offensive] already . . . we will send thousands and thousands more troops,” Stoltenberg told reporters on Monday. “It is clear that we are in the race for logistics. Key functions such as ammunition .
“A war of attrition becomes a battle of logistics,” he said. “Yes, there are challenges. Yes, there are problems…but we have a strategy for addressing them.”
UkraineRussia’s ammunition shortage has been “serious,” a senior Western intelligence official told the Financial Times, adding that the speed of Western supplies will determine the outcome of Russia’s attempts to regain control of the war. added.
Kiev’s army 5,000 shells per day — Equals the order of a small European country in one year of peacetime.
Russia is estimated to be firing four times that amount each day as it seeks to gain territory in the eastern part of the country and deploy tens of thousands of newly trained conscripts for the war. increase.
Russian troops are making nudging advances to capture the town of Bakhmut in the Donbass region in heavy fighting that has been compared to World War I conditions. Moscow is simultaneously targeting Ukrainian civilian infrastructure across the country with long-range missile strikes.
“The war in Ukraine has consumed enormous amounts of munitions and depleted allied stockpiles. Current Ukrainian ammunition consumption rates are many times higher than current production rates. It puts a strain on our defense industry,” Stoltenberg said.
Ammunition is expected to be the most important topic of discussion at the NATO defense ministers’ meeting. send a fighter.
Stoltenberg said the wait time to leave the factory has increased from 12 months to 28 months for large-caliber ammunition.
“We are not just sitting around doing nothing…the industry has the ability to increase production in the short term,” he added. “We can work more shifts and work weekends.
“We need to increase production and invest in capacity,” he said.
NATO recently ended emergency inventory checks of allied forces’ ammunition stockpiles and future orders in response to an unusual depletion of reserves caused by supporting Ukraine in the war.
This will give the Alliance a better understanding of where supplies are most strained and where action is most urgent, Stoltenberg said.
Ukraine’s Western allies “need to get things done as quickly as possible to protect their territories,” said Julian Smith, Ukrainian ambassador to Ukraine, adding that “new and additional pledges” will be made this week. He added that he expects
Separately, on Monday, Poland began training Ukrainian forces with German Leopard 2 main battle tanks. His month-long training in the village of Świętoszów in southern Poland is conducted by Polish, Canadian and Norwegian military instructors.
“We have 105 soldiers in training here,” said 2nd Lt. Krzysztof Sieracski, commander of the training group and senior staff member, adding that more Ukrainian soldiers are expected to arrive.
Poland’s Defense Minister Marius Właszczak said the United Nations on Leopards: announced last month Canada had already delivered tanks to Poland, and once the soldiers were trained, the tanks were shipped to Ukraine. “We are waiting for tanks from Norway. The instructors are already here. We are having preliminary discussions with the Spanish side,” Błaszczak said.