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Ukraine’s counteroffensive is over without US aid to boost ammunition

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine faces a devastating shortage of artillery and ammunition as its war with Russia enters its third year. And US lawmakers, who are playing politics over military aid, have conclusive evidence.

As a result, Ukraine’s much-touted counterattack has disappeared, while Ukrainian officials warn that the Kremlin’s military spending is “setting new records.”

Russia currently outnumbers Ukraine’s artillery by approximately 6 to 1.

“The shortage of artillery shells and long-range missiles is affecting the capabilities of our armed forces and forcing us to adjust our plans,” Ivan Havrylyuk, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, told the Post in Kiev this week.

“We are now forced to switch to defensive operations.”

Meanwhile, two months have passed since the United States sent its last military aid package to Ukraine, as Washington battles over an additional funding bill that would provide an additional $60 billion in aid to Kiev.

“Two years after this war began, the Ukrainian people continue to fight with tremendous courage. But they are running out of ammunition,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday.

“Ukraine needs additional supplies from the United States to counter Russia’s relentless attacks enabled by arms and ammunition from Iran and North Korea.”

Ukraine is facing severe shortages of artillery and ammunition in its war against Russia, and officials told the Post they are being “forced to switch to defensive operations.” Reuters

Civilians are dying at an alarming rate

As the US government squabbles over the provision of basic munitions, the death rate of Ukrainian military and civilians is increasing at an increasingly alarming rate.

Last week, Ukrainian forces withdrew from the Donetsk region town of Avdiivka, citing a lack of ammunition to fight back against the domineering Russian army, which is still armed with rockets and artillery.

Havryliuk said the fighting in Avdiivka caused the greatest damage and casualties in the two-year war.

“The experience of the Russo-Ukrainian war shows that modern artillery has one of the most important roles on the battlefield,” Havryliuk told the Post.

“Therefore, if we strengthen the potential of our artillery and missiles, our capabilities on the battlefield will automatically increase.”

As a result, Ukraine’s much-touted counterattack has disappeared, while Ukrainian officials warn that the Kremlin’s military spending is “setting new records.” AP

George Barros, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, said the Russian military also appears to be getting cocky as Ukraine’s artillery supplies dwindle.

Putin’s soldiers boldly remain in the same location even after firing shells at Ukrainian forces, without fear of escaping counterattack.

“Open source research has documented that Russian troops use fixed artillery firing positions for long periods of time, indicating that the Ukrainians lack ammunition to counter artillery fire. ” he said.

Baros added that since January 1st alone, Ukraine has lost more than 60 square miles of its territory to Russian occupation.

“[They] “Ukraine is likely to suffer even more losses as it continues to struggle with a lack of resources,” he said.

“The shortage of artillery shells and long-range missiles is affecting the capabilities of our armed forces, forcing us to adjust our plans,” Ivan Havrylyuk, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, told the Post. AP

Changing strategies to save ammunition

The strain on artillery has forced the Ukrainian military to desperately conserve its holdings, crippling its ability to defend itself, let alone claw back land.

“Delays in Western security assistance are forcing the Ukrainian military to secure supplies, and the shortage appears to be reducing Ukraine’s counter-artillery fire, a vital ability for Ukraine to defend itself.” said Barros.

“Since at least December 2023, the Ukrainian army has clearly suffered from starvation of shells,” he added.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhail Federov said Kiev has turned to its drone program to make the most of the relatively little supplies left — so as not to waste its remaining supply of precious artillery shells. He said it was for the purpose of

Federov, who oversees the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, said Ukraine’s military is now required to fire only after locating the target using drone optics.

Kiev is also supplementing its weapons capabilities with drones.

Instead of firing artillery to defeat the enemy, soldiers are now using unmanned aerial vehicles to drop bombs and deploying kamikaze drones to bomb Russian forces, Federov said. That’s what it means.

Meanwhile, Russia is taking advantage of the situation to focus on eliminating the game-changing US-made M777 howitzer, which fires a NATO-standard 155mm gun, said a Ukrainian lieutenant colonel nicknamed “M1.” Told.

Ukraine’s military asked the Post not to publish his real name for his safety.

“The M777 howitzer is being pursued by the Russian military due to the amount of damage it causes to the enemy,” said the officer, who is the chief engineer in charge of the military unit responsible for repairing and restoring the powerful artillery launcher. Told.

Meanwhile, two months have passed since the United States sent its last military aid package to Ukraine, as Washington battles over an additional funding bill that would provide an additional $60 billion in aid to Kiev. NY post illustration

Aid from European allies is not enough

While the United States drags its feet, Ukraine’s other allies and partners are trying to bridge the gap. Denmark, for example, announced on Sunday that it would contribute “its entire supply” of artillery to the fight.

The European Union also pledged to send about 2,300 shells a month to Ukraine from April until the end of the year, “assuming the EU achieves its goals, which it has not been able to achieve so far,” said John, Russia’s deputy chief of staff. Mr. Hardy said. A program of the nonpartisan Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, DC.

Like the U.S. defense industry, European manufacturers are also struggling to produce the necessary quantities of artillery and other munitions and weapons.

But even if European partners fulfilled their commitments, Hardy assessed that such contributions would still not be enough for Ukraine to repel Russian forces.

“This number means for Ukraine a serious shortage of shells, more deaths of Ukrainian soldiers and probably even more territory loss,” he said.

“With US aid, Ukraine will receive an additional 2,000 155mm shells per month by this year.” [July.]”

Still, Hardy warned that while the total was “probably insufficient for a successful offensive operation,” it “should be sufficient to build a strong defense.”

Kiev would rather go on the offensive to liberate Russian-occupied territory, but simply holding the line and blocking Moscow’s advance would greatly contribute to Ukraine’s tendency to ultimately win the war. Barros said.

“Helping Ukraine maintain its status quo through Western military support is far more advantageous and less costly for the United States than allowing Ukraine to lose,” he said.

“It simply gives Russia time and space to conquer Ukraine and prepare for a new war to confront NATO”—which would ultimately require a U.S. military response.

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