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For the First Time in Full-Scale War, Zelensky Announces No Artillery Shortages

Ukraine Reports No Shortages of Artillery Shells for First Time

President Volodymyr Zelensky informed reporters on May 16 that, for the first time since the commencement of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian brigades have not reported any shortages of artillery shells.

He noted that this favorable situation had persisted for the past two months, marking a remarkable improvement from the previous winter months when Ukraine’s Armed Forces faced a critical shortage of artillery shells due to delays in U.S. military aid.

During the peak of the shortage in January, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov reported that Ukraine could only fire 2,000 shells per day, which was approximately one-third of Russia’s daily shell usage.

No reports of artillery shortages for first time

To address this, a Czech-led initiative aimed at purchasing artillery shells for Ukraine identified 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells outside Europe, which could be procured once the necessary funds were allocated.

President Zelensky highlighted that even before the Czech initiative took full effect, substantial progress had already been made in securing artillery shells. “For the first time during the war, none of the brigades complained that there were no artillery shells,” he emphasized.

This positive development is backed by contributions from multiple countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Poland, Denmark, and Slovenia. Their collective efforts may result in the delivery of up to 1.5 million rounds to Ukraine.

Despite these efforts, Russia has seriously increased its military production capacity. According to Martin Herem, the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, Russia is likely able to produce 1 million shells annually and possibly many more based on intelligence reports. Additionally, Russia has been receiving new supplies of ammunition from abroad, with North Korea emerging as Russia’s largest arms supplier.

In light of these developments, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov recently dismissed Brigadier General Serhii Baranov from his role as head of the Missile, Artillery, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Forces.

This branch of the Ukrainian Armed Forces specializes in strategic planning and participation in combat operations utilizing missiles, howitzers, cannons, mortars, jet-propelled and anti-tank artillery, as well as drones.

As Ukraine continues to receive and secure artillery supplies, the strategic landscape of the conflict remains dynamic, with both sides enhancing their capabilities and adapting to ongoing challenges.

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