Putin Backs the Stronger Artillery: The West’s Delivery Too Little, Too Slow

Ukraine Struggles for Artillery Balance Amidst Russian Dominance – The West Grapples with Supply Shortages.

A race for artillery supplies is emerging in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to a report by The Telegraph. Ukraine is striving to secure enough artillery shells to alter the balance at the front. President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that crucial shipments of 155-mm ammunition have been disrupted following conflicts between Israel and Hamas.

North Korean Deliveries

Both Ukraine and Russia have faced challenges in maintaining their shell supplies, but since August, Moscow has received a million shells from North Korea, The Telegraph reports, citing South Korean intelligence.

These deliveries have enabled Russia to relentlessly bombard the city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region with artillery fire. The European Union has admitted that its goal of delivering a million shells to Kyiv by next March will not be met. Since the program’s inception in February, the bloc has supplied around 300,000 shells, mainly from national stockpiles. Production capacities in Europe and the failure to increase production are responsible for the weak performance, according to diplomats and ministers.

The West Delivers Too Little, Too Slowly

The United States has authorized the release of enhanced conventional munitions to alleviate some issues. Kyiv has also been promised further 155-mm shells from Germany as part of a 1.4 billion Euro military aid package, The Telegraph notes. The U.S. plans to increase its production rate for 155-mm artillery shells to 100,000 per month, but this target is not expected to be met until 2025.

The slow pace of allies in boosting artillery production means that Ukraine is unlikely to turn the tide on the battlefield. Experts, like Justin Crump of Sibylline, believe that both sides have sufficient supplies to maintain the fight, even though shifting the frontline is rare.

The supply of Storm Shadow cruise missiles and ATACMS by Western countries has helped to counter Russia’s numerical advantage, The Telegraph reports. However, it is expected to be challenging for Ukraine to make significant advances on the battlefield with the current artillery production.

Three Ukrainian Victories Needed

Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized three “victories” that Ukraine needs to achieve, two of which involve arms deliveries. These include the U.S. Congress’s approval for further aid and the EU’s sanctioning of a 50 billion Euro package. Furthermore, Ukraine aims to initiate talks about its future EU membership, according to The Telegraph.

Image: KCNA.kp, Public domain, Kim Jong Un Putin 2023, via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

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