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ISW highlights ammo shortage limiting Ukrainian forces - Armed Forces respond

ISW highlights ammo shortage limiting Ukrainian forces - Armed Forces respond Photo: Spokesperson of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine Natalia Humenyuk (Getty Images)

ISW analysts believe that the shortage of artillery shells may limit Ukrainian forces on the front. The Armed Forces state it's not a lack of shells but rather the overwhelming number of targets, according to the spokeswoman for the Southern Defense Forces, Natalia Humeniuk, during a televised marathon.

As noted by ISW, investigations from open sources indicate that Russian forces are taking advantage of the shortage of ammunition and Ukraine's inability to conduct sufficient counter-battery warfare.

The Ukrainian analytical group Frontelligence Insight stated that Russian forces previously established stationary artillery positions from late 2022 to early 2023 when the shortage of ammunition limited Ukrainian capabilities in counter-battery combat. In January 2024, the Russians resumed concentrating their artillery in a similar manner.

Frontelligence claimed that the absence of counter-battery action from Ukraine might allow Russian forces to destroy settlements, making their defense nearly impossible. Analysts also believe that drones with a range of up to 24 km might not be sufficient to eliminate enemy artillery installations.

ISW emphasizes that the shortage of ammunition may force Ukrainian forces to make challenging decisions regarding the prioritization of specific areas on the front.

What the Armed Forces say

"Based on the results of our combat work, we see that even in such challenging conditions, we manage to maximize the use of everything available. We employ artillery - that's counter-battery warfare. We use drones. The enemy highly appreciates the effectiveness of our efforts," said the spokeswoman for the Southern Defense Forces of Ukraine.

Natalia Humeniuk added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to destroy enemy positions on the left bank of the Kherson region. This also includes the islands where occupiers attempt to deploy their observation points.

"Thus, acknowledging the shortage of ammunition, but a shortage in terms of the overwhelming number of targets over the available ammunition. We have a lot of work ahead, and if we could cover all that work with the ammunition currently available, we would be happy," she added.

Million shells from the EU

In early May 2023, the EU Council approved a decision to provide assistance to Ukraine in the amount of one billion euros for joint purchases of ammunition and missiles.

It was planned that European countries would supply Ukraine with a million shells by March 2024. Currently, it is known that EU countries could not fully fulfill the plan. According to Bloomberg, by March, the EU will be able to provide Ukraine with 600 thousand of munitions.

During his address to the European Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that Europe should not lose in global competition. He reminded that North Korea supplies Russia with a million shells.