Kiev’s forces have reportedly exhausted Western stockpiles by firing approximately 2 million rounds of artillery in the ongoing conflict with Russia, according to foreign policy commentator David Ignatius. In an article published in the Washington Post, Ignatius claims that the US and its allies are becoming frustrated with Kiev’s inability to achieve significant results during its summer counteroffensive and have initiated a review of the lessons learned from the operation.
One of the key conclusions from these assessments is that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is unlikely to be resolved this year, contrary to the hopes of many in Kiev. Instead, the Pentagon believes that the fighting will continue into 2024 and possibly beyond, necessitating ongoing support for Kiev’s forces from Washington and its allies.
The Pentagon has been advising Ukrainian commanders to better prioritize targets and concentrate their forces on potential breakout points along the Russia-Ukraine front. Additionally, American commanders are concerned that Kiev has been wasting ammunition by employing outdated Soviet-era tactics. Ignatius reports that Ukrainian forces have fired approximately 2 million rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition since the conflict began in February 2022, nearly depleting Western stockpiles.
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the US is also facing a shortage of raw materials, particularly TNT, as it attempts to replenish its own arsenal and continue supplying Ukraine with ammunition. The current production goal of 28,000 artillery shells per month is insufficient to meet Ukraine’s high demand for ammunition, let alone replenish depleted US stockpiles.
Ukraine’s choice of tactics throughout the conflict has come under scrutiny from both its Western supporters and Russia. Last week, President Vladimir Putin criticized the commanders of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, accusing them of disregarding the lives of their own soldiers by exposing them to minefields and artillery fire. He described their decision as “astonishing” and accused Kiev of treating these troops as if they were not even Ukrainian citizens.
In conclusion, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is expected to continue into at least 2024, necessitating ongoing support from the US and its allies. The Pentagon has advised Ukrainian commanders to prioritize targets and concentrate their forces on potential breakout points. However, concerns have been raised about the wasting of ammunition and the depletion of Western stockpiles, with the US facing its own logistical challenges in restocking its arsenal and supporting Ukraine’s demand for ammunition. The tactics employed by Kiev have drawn criticism from both sides, with President Putin accusing Ukrainian commanders of disregarding the lives of their soldiers.