Lazy eyes listen
On Wednesday, the Pentagon unveiled a $300 million arms package for Ukraine, ahead of Kiev’s long-promised spring onslaught. However, the Ukrainian military is reportedly suffering from ammunition shortages, and the latest aid package is unlikely to help.
The shipment represents the US’s 37th installment of military funding to Ukraine since August 2021. It brings Washington’s total military aid to Kiev to more than $35.7 billion since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began last February.
The package includes ammunition for Ukraine’s American-supplied HIMARS rocket artillery systems, 155mm howitzers and artillery rounds, mortar rounds, wire-guided missiles, shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, and Hydra-70 rockets, which are most commonly fired from attack helicopters, according to a Pentagon statement.
As of January, the US no longer specifies how much of each ammunition type is included in its armament packages. Instead, the total number of each piece of equipment given to date is listed on extra fact sheets that are included with each Pentagon statement.
On March 20, Ukraine received more than 500,000 155mm rounds, bringing the total quantity delivered since last February to 1.5 million. However, Wednesday’s shipment is the third tranche of arms announced since then, and every fact sheet since then has stated that Ukraine has received “over 1,500,000” 155mm artillery rounds.
According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, this rate of delivery falls far short of the 356,400 rounds per month required for Ukraine to fire its Western-supplied weaponry at full capacity.
Ukraine has been preparing for an onslaught against Russian forces for several months, with President Vladimir Zelensky announcing on Wednesday that it would start “soon.” However, recently leaked Pentagon documents suggested that ammunition could stymie the offensive, and a Politico report last month claimed that the Biden administration is concerned that the much-touted operation will fail.
Russia’s stance on Western arms transfers remains unchanged, with Kremlin officials frequently warning that arming Ukraine makes Western nations de facto participants in the conflict.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, no amount of foreign weapons will “influence the final outcome of the special operation.”