War in Ukraine NATO chief warns of possible ammunition shortage

War in Ukraine: NATO chief warns of possible ammunition shortage

Will Ukraine run out of ammunition? According to Jens Stoltenberg, the Ukrainian army uses more ammunition than European and North American industry can produce, our correspondent in Brussels reports, Pierre Benacet.

Allied countries supplying arms to Ukraine still have stocks, but industrialists must now understand that they will have large and long-term orders and contracts, and that they can already increase rates and investments, says a NATO country.

For the Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance, the question is all the more urgent the spring offensive of the russian army has actually already started. “Russia is now sending thousands and thousands more troops and taking a very high casualty rate to put pressure on the Ukrainians. And what the Russians lack in quality they try to make up for in quantity. For me, that just underscores the importance of timing,” emphasized Jens Stoltenberg. There is an urgent need to equip Ukraine with more weapons. The faster we can deliver arms, ammunition, spare parts and fuel to the Ukrainian front, the more lives we save and the better we support efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to this conflict.”

Very high ammo consumption

NATO countries will also train more and more Ukrainian soldiers to break the Soviet habit of overusing ammunition. Reliable figures on ammunition consumption are not available, but consumption on both sides is very high in a protracted conflict, a war sometimes bogged down in trenches, with incessant fighting against the background of ubiquitous artillery. In July, for example, the Russians fired up to 50,000 shells a day; Up to 6,000 Ukrainians, according to a French military source.

But Ukrainian consumption has risen sharply since its counter-offensive at the end of August. And it will take tremendous firepower to withstand the Russian offensive expected in the coming weeks. Indeed, Kyiv is demanding more and more. She recently received the Promise of heavy tanksbut above all wants more ground-to-air defense equipment and fighter jets, which Westerners are reluctant to supply.

► Also read: Ukraine: NATO chief speaks of more heavy weapons “in the near future”

(And with AFP)