20 of 30 NATO countries have emptied their arsenals by sending weapons to Ukraine, a NATO representative has said. These are the small states, says the New York Times. The remaining 10 can still supply arms and equipment to Kiev, including France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
Germany, France and the United States are also choosing which weapons to transfer so that long-range weapons do not reach Russian territory.
Nine months into the war, the West’s fundamental lack of preparedness has led to a desperate race to provide Ukraine with what it needs, as well as to replenish NATO supplies.
With both sides spending arms and ammunition at a rate not seen since the Second World War, the competition to keep stockpiles at full capacity has become a crucial front that could prove devastating for Ukraine.
According to NATO specialists, the amount of artillery in use is staggering. In Afghanistan, NATO forces could fire 300 artillery pieces; Ukraine can fire thousands of shells a day and desperately needs air defence against Russian drones and missiles.
“One day in Ukraine is equivalent to a month or more in Afghanistan,” says Camilla Grand, who until recently was NATO’s assistant secretary general for defence investment.
In the Ukrainian war, artillery pieces are subjected to such intensive operation that they quickly stop working and must be sent back to their countries of origin for repair.
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