The winter arrived bringing a substantial worsening in Ukraine’s military capabilities.
The recent faltering of American military aid has immediately started to be felt across the whole frontline.
Artillery rounds, that were already being delivered ‘hand-to-mouth’ for quite some time – arriving and immediately dispatched for use – are now simply lacking.
Admiral Kirby alerted public opinion a few weeks ago that the US was ‘getting to the end of its rope’ when it came to military supplies to Ukraine. And he wasn’t exaggerating.
The unprecedented levels of military aid from the US have dramatically been reduced, with the risk of stopping altogether.
Almost two years into the conflict, the MSM still seems not to have fully understood the nature of this war, or grasped Russia’s ‘war of attrition’ strategy, as they continue to label the present Russian offensive a ‘slow-moving campaign to win control of eastern Ukraine’.
Once the Ukrainian much-hyped counteroffensive ended in failure, Russia regained the initiative and is advancing at several points of the front.
Meanwhile, Russian industry is churning out equipment and ammunition at ever-greater levels, creating a widening gap in the fighting capabilities.
Ukrainian troops are now telling the Western press that they have stopped shelling small Russian units since they are running out of US-provided artillery ammunition.
A 31-year-old mortar gunner from the 47th Mechanized Brigade is quoted in the press as saying that their artillery levels have decreased tenfold.
Business Insider reported:
“‘American rounds come in batches of almost identical weights, which makes it easier to correct fire, with very few duds. Now we have shells from all over the world with different qualities, and we only get 15 for three days. Last week, we got a batch full of duds’, said the soldier.”
The lack of shells hampered the control over the northern flank of Avdviivka, in eastern Ukraine.
“We should be controlling our sector from 4km away, so we can kill a few hundred Russian soldiers before they get to our infantry, and we only take a few wounded. But without ammunition, we can’t.”
The US and NATO with Western ammunition stockpiles are depleted, unable to maintain the Ukrainian usage rate of about 7,000 rounds a day.
“And Western supplies are now at the ‘bottom of the barrel’, Admiral Rob Bauer of the Netherlands, who chairs NATO’s Military Committee, said at a Warsaw Security Forum meeting in October.
‘We need large volumes. The just-in-time, just-enough economy we built together in 30 years in our liberal economies is fine for a lot of things — but not the armed forces when there is a war ongoing’, he said”.
New aid to Ukraine reached a ‘new low’ with a 90% drop compared to last year.
“To make up for the shortfall, [the Ukrainian soldier] told the newspaper that his unit is now using unarmed drones to scare Russian troops away and fundraising for weapons they can buy.”