ua en ru

Ukraine wins with modern weapons, but Western supply issues hinder progress - ISW

Ukraine wins with modern weapons, but Western supply issues hinder progress - ISW Photo: self-propelled artillery installation Dana M2 (Defence Express)

Ukraine continues to make efforts to compensate for Russian advantages in manpower and material-technical resources, utilizing more modern systems and equipment. However, these efforts are undermined by regular delays in providing assistance from Western countries in the security sphere, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The department refers to an interview with the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk, on February 14, in which he stated that Ukraine cannot compete with Russia in terms of the quantity of artillery shells, tanks, and soldiers that the aggressor can produce. However, according to him, our country can gain an advantage on the battlefield by using high-tech weapons.

According to the Deputy Minister of Defense, Ukrainian forces have demonstrated that a well-prepared army with more advanced weaponry can defeat an enemy with a numerical advantage in manpower and equipment.

Havryliuk stated that the superior strike capabilities of Ukrainian forces had previously allowed them to disrupt the logistics and combat potential of the Russians. However, he emphasized that the Armed Forces possess these superior capabilities only with a sufficient supply of long-range precision munitions and artillery ammunition provided by the West, which have greater range and better accuracy than Russian artillery systems.

The Deputy Minister of Defense particularly praised Ukrainian efforts in the extensive integration of strike drone capabilities into the Armed Forces and emphasized that Ukraine aims to gradually increase the ratio of machines to personnel on the battlefield.

Havryliuk acknowledged that Ukraine's progress in expanding the use of drones does not replace the need for the military to have modern artillery systems and other long-range capabilities. According to him, the war in Ukraine demonstrates that artillery plays a crucial role on the battlefield, and he added that most of the Russian losses were caused by Ukrainian multiple-launch rocket systems and artillery units.

The Deputy Minister of Defense also stated that drones have some advantages over artillery, particularly in cost, but they are more vulnerable to external factors such as Russian electronic warfare (EW) systems and natural factors, presumably referring to weather conditions. Moreover, according to the official, the drones currently possessed by the Ukrainian military are not capable of achieving the desired effect on the battlefield that artillery can provide, such as destroying field fortifications or enemy armored vehicles.

Havryliuk also noted that Ukraine should focus on combined operations using drones and artillery systems to increase the accuracy of Ukrainian fire and preserve artillery ammunition.

"The Ukrainian ability to see such a strategy to fruition is dependent on continued Western support that allows Ukrainian forces to maintain battlefield advantages while providing Ukraine with new advantages over Russian mass," the ISW report said.

Ammunition aid from Western countries

The Chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, stated that the current priority for Ukraine is the supply of artillery systems and ammunition. According to him, the situation with them will improve over the next month, facilitating the combat work of Ukrainian defenders on the front.

In early May of last year, 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 provide Ukraine with a million shells by March 2024. However, as of now, EU countries have not been able to fulfill the plan completely. According to Bloomberg, by March, the EU will only be able to provide Ukraine with 600,000 ammunition.

At the same time, the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stated that Ukraine will receive over one million artillery ammunition from the EU by the end of this year.

On February 14, a meeting of the Contact Group on Defense Issues of Ukraine (Ramstein-19) took place. During the meeting, issues of strengthening air defense, drones, and artillery systems were discussed.