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18 Jan, 2024 14:09

World not producing enough weapons to beat Russia – Zelensky

The Ukrainian leader nevertheless called on the West to ramp up support for Kiev
World not producing enough weapons to beat Russia – Zelensky

The combined output of the entire world’s military industrial complex is not enough to maintain Kiev’s fight against Moscow, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed during a press conference in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.

Responding to a question from a New York Times reporter, the Ukrainian leader said his forces were experiencing a deficit in drones and artillery shells, adding that the shortage of munitions was hampering Ukraine’s ability to reach “certain goals.”

However, fulfilling the needs of the Ukrainian military is not simple, Zelensky said, stating that “the production of all companies that make 155-caliber artillery shells is not enough to supply the artillery war in Ukraine.”

“There is no sufficient production volume in the world today, as in the case of artillery, that is sufficient for the Ukrainian army to withstand the war with Russia,” the Ukrainian leader stated. He added that even the one million drones he said Ukraine would produce in 2024 would not be enough to prevail.

Nevertheless, Zelensky went on to say that the US and its allies must continue supplying Kiev with munitions, explaining that without foreign weapons, Ukraine would be “weak on the battlefield, would have a big artillery deficit and would not be able to repel ballistic missile attacks,” which he said would eventually result in a “big crisis for all of Europe.”

His remarks come after Ukrainian Strategic Industries Minister Alexander Kamyshin stated last week that no matter how much it boosts production, the country will never be able to fully cover its military needs on its own. 

“Our needs today are greater than the needs of the total production of the USA and EU countries together,” Kamyshin said. 

The 155-caliber shells mentioned by Zelensky are standard ammunition used by NATO artillery, which has supplied Kiev with multiple Western-made howitzers, such as the US-made M777 and M109 guns, German Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000s, French Caesars and Polish Krabs, which all utilize the shell.

Throughout the course of the conflict, however, Ukrainian forces have not only used these weapons on the battlefield, but also to shell residential areas in cities across Russia’s Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly condemned western weapons shipments to Ukraine, arguing that they only serve to prolong the fighting and lead to more bloodshed without affecting the inevitable outcome.