Pentagon leaks show Kiev faces critical shortages in munition supplies
According to a report by UnHerd, Ukrainian storage of anti-air missiles and artillery shells is in critical condition which makes the possibility of a successful counteroffensive in Spring slim.
Ukraine is facing a more difficult "uphill struggle than the Western narrative would have us believe", according to a report by the UnHerd published on Wednesday.
The report cited the recent Pentagon leaks, saying that the Ukrainian army is facing massive shortages, especially in munition supplies.
Artillery ammunition is being used up by the nation's units at a breakneck rate, estimated at 7,700 shells every day, or about one shell every six seconds. This means that Kiev is outpacing Western production capacities and has forced Kiev to ration artillery usage on the battlefield.
In contrast, Russian forces are launching almost 3 times as many shells a day, estimated at 20,000.
However, the most distressful of shortages to the Ukrainian army is that of anti-air defense ammunition, particularly of Soviet era S-300 and Buk systems which make up around 89% of Ukrainian air defenses against Russian targets.
The ammunition for these surface-to-air missile systems is produced mainly in Russia, which of course Kiev cannot access. What is even more troublesome is that NATO-supplied NASAMS and IRIS-T batteries are also critically low on supplies.
Another document examined by the news website shows that the counteroffensive planned by Ukraine in Spring is projected to fall short of its supposed objectives.
The document explains that “enduring Ukrainian deficiencies in training and munitions supplies probably will strain progress and exacerbate casualties during the offensive.”
The army is expected to be highly susceptible to air attacks, as its defense capabilities are hindered by munition shortages. This means that it will be exponentially more difficult to deploy ground forces on the frontlines as they will be subject to air raids.
Western critics seem to understand that there is little chance of a successful Ukrainian offensive in Spring, as the possibility of forcing Russian forces out of Crimea and the Donbass seems marginal.
According to Richard Haass and Charles Kupchan of Foreign Affairs, supplying Ukraine with more tools to extend the war instead of negotiating a peace deal between the warring parties is delusional.