Ukraine is running out of ammunition as prospects dim on the battlefield
Newly promised Western weapons systems are arriving, but too slowly and in insufficient quantities to prevent incremental but inexorable Russian gains in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, which is now the focus of the fight.
Ukrainian and U.S. hopes that the new supplies of Western weaponry would enable Ukraine to regain the initiative and eventually retake the estimated 20 percent of Ukrainian territory captured by Russia since its Feb. 24 invasion are starting to look premature, said Oleksandr V. Danylyuk, an adviser to the Ukrainian government on defense and intelligence issues.
But the odds against the Ukrainians are starting to look overwhelming, said Danylyuk, the government adviser.
200 Ukrainian fighter are killed every day. Assuming 4 wounded per KIA means the Ukraine are losing 1,000 a day from the front line. But equipment & ammunition shortages are more dire than manpower shortages.
Most of Ukrainian military equipment is former Soviet equipment. Eastern European NATO members has run out of spare ammunition to send to the Ukraine.
So the Ukrainians need to convert to Western weapons while fighting*.
And the bill for the equipment & ammunition is being paid by the US taxpayer. $54 billion so far according to NYTimes.
The U.S. Army currently has 518 M777B2 systems, while the Marines have 481.
On April 14, 2022, the United States announced that it would donate 18 M777A2s and 40,000 shells to Ukraine. Since then, the U.S. has raised that total to 90 of the Marines’ M777A2 systems and 200,000 rounds of ammunition, including M982 Excalibur precision-guided munitions. In addition, Australia sent six of its 54 guns in late April, and on April 22, Canada sent four from its arsenal of 37 M777s.
Pleased with the initial performance of a howitzer whose qualities promise to offset the greater numbers of its Russian counterparts, the Ukrainians have asked friendly nations for more.
Dozens of artillery systems supplied by the United States to Ukraine were not fitted with advanced computer systems, which improve the efficiency and accuracy of the weapons, ABC News has learned.
The Pentagon did not deny that the artillery pieces were supplied without the computers but said it had received “positive feedback” from the Ukrainians about the “precise and highly effective” weapons.
The Ukrainian have a defensive line at the Donetsk river. So far they have prevented the Russians from crossing it. If the Russians manage to breach the river, they could start to make rapid advances.
Can enough Western military equipment & ammunition arrive in time? Can the Ukrainians hold the line? If Russia breaks through the Ukrainian defense line:What will be the US response?
If the defense line is held:Will the West’s resolve hold?
An Italian peace proposal was dismissed and French President Emmanuel Macron was met with an angry backlash after he was quoted as saying that although Putin’s invasion was a “historic error,” world powers shouldn’t “humiliate Russia, so when the fighting stops, we can build a way out together via diplomatic paths.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said such talk “can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.”
Even a remark by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that Ukraine should consider territorial concessions drew a retort from Zelenskyy that it was tantamount to European powers in 1938 letting Nazi Germany claim parts of Czechoslovakia to curb Adolf Hitler’s aggression.