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6 Aug, 2023 15:39

Ukraine warns of ‘significant weapons shortage’

Kiev wants more weaponry from its backers to reach battlefield “parity” with Russia
Ukraine warns of ‘significant weapons shortage’

Ukraine’s military campaign is being held back by a lack of weaponry, and allies need to provide additional supplies to effectively counter Russia, the top aide to Ukraine’s president has claimed.

“From the point of view of battlefield parity, there is indeed a significant shortage,” Mikhail Podoliak said on Friday, live on national TV.

Kiev needs more artillery shells and long-range missiles, and is experiencing a “certain shortage” of de-mining equipment, he added. The military is also having difficulties repairing damaged armor.

Podoliak said the key items Ukraine still lacks are anti-aircraft systems and sophisticated fighter jets, specifically the US-made F-16. Kiev has been asking its Western backers to provide F-16s for months, insisting that the fighters would help “win the war” against Russia.

Washington and its allies, however, have so far proven reluctant to provide the jets, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan suggesting the aircraft would have only a limited impact on the battlefield due to the extensive use of air defense systems in Ukraine.

Since the start of the conflict, Ukraine has been demanding increasingly sophisticated weaponry from its backers. The Western-supplied hardware has been extensively used by Kiev in the current counteroffensive, launched in early June. The campaign has so far failed to yield any tangible results, while dozens of Western-supplied items, including US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, German-made Leopard 2 tanks, and Swedish-made CV90 armored vehicles, have ended up destroyed or captured.

Moscow has repeatedly urged the West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with assorted weaponry, warning that continued military aid will only prolong the conflict and inflict more destruction on Ukraine rather than change the ultimate outcome.