Foreign Ministers of the European Union have moved forward with a €2 Billion plan to turn over artillery shells from their military stockpiles to Ukraine for its war efforts, as well as to start the process of producing more. In total, the plan coming from Brussels is to provide Ukraine roughly 1 million artillery shells of the next 12 months. This development comes as Ukraine has shared information that its own forces have been rationing the use of their own artillery due to a lack of supply as the war has shifted into one of grinding attrition between both sides.
While good news for the bedraggled defenders, the number and deliver time falls far short of the requested 350,000 shells a month put forth by Ukraine, which would allow them not only the ability to stall Moscow’s recent advances, but also better position Ukraine’s armed forces for fresh counter-offenses later this year.
Despite the hope that this effort will help the Ukrainian defenders, countries in the European Union remain in debate over the details of how to execute the agreement. Regardless, with their collective stockpiles depleting, decisions will have to be made soon. As things stand 15 companies in 11 member states of the European Union have been contacted to begin ramping up production of armaments, and work has also begun to ease regulatory bottlenecks holding up the effort to assist Ukraine.
In spite of the questions that remain for this latest effort to support Ukraine, the situation might actually be more dire for Russia. According to relatively recent estimates put for by officials of the United States and Ukraine, Russian artillery might well be significantly depleted, based on how detected artillery fire is down as much as 75% from a number of Russian positions. While there is some hope for this explanation, it could well be that Russia is simply rationing its artillery as it adjusts its tactics and strategy to deal with their Ukrainian opponents.
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