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30 Dec, 2023 11:24

Ukraine’s weapon stocks ‘empty’ – Moscow

A high-ranking Russian diplomat says he does not expect any “spikes” in deliveries of Western arms to Kiev
Ukraine’s weapon stocks ‘empty’ – Moscow

Ukraine’s stocks of weapons are exhausted and it shows on the battlefield, Konstantin Gavrilov, the head of Russia’s delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, has said.

The West continues to supply missiles and air defense systems to Kiev, but not on the scale that it once did, Gavrilov told Rossiya 24 TV on Friday. The diplomat said he does not expect any “spikes” in deliveries of weapons by the US and its allies.

Ukraine’s “stocks are empty. The military arsenals of NATO and the US are empty... You see what’s happening on the battlefield – the Ukrainians are already responding to 10 or 20 of our shells with just a few” of their own, he said.

On Friday, the UK pledged a new shipment of 200 air defense missiles to Ukraine. Commenting on the delivery, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said, “now is the time for the free world to come together and redouble our efforts to get Ukraine what they need to win.”

Earlier this week, the US also announced another batch of military aid worth up to $250 million, including various types of missiles, artillery shells, and small-arms ammunition.

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Kiev is experiencing an acute shortage of ammunition, while Moscow does not seem to have the same problem. Ukrainian troops told the outlet they were firing around 10-20 shells a day, down from 50 earlier in the conflict.

The amount of Western military aid to Kiev has decreased in recent months. In the US, Republican lawmakers are resisting attempts by the administration of President Joe Biden to push through another $60 billion in assistance for Kiev, while Hungary has vetoed the EU’s planned four-year €50 billion ($55 billion) aid package for Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Kiev by the US and its allies will not prevent it from achieving the goals of its military operation, but only increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to Russian officials, the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de facto parties to the conflict.