- The US tapped its stockpile in Israel for 155 mm shells for Ukraine, The New York Times reported.
- Allies are scrambling to supply Ukraine with artillery ammunition amid a new Russian offensive.
- In November, the Pentagon estimated that Ukraine fired between 4,000 and 7,000 shells daily.
The Pentagon is sending a vast quantity of American ammunition from Israel to Ukraine to supply their urgent need for weapons to fight Russia, The New York Times reported.
The Israeli and American governments reached an agreement to send 300,000 155 mm shells to Ukraine, with Israeli representatives doing so partially to avoid conflict with the US, per The New York Times.
The Pentagon kept the stockpile in place to use in conflicts in the Middle East, but The Times reported that Israel also had access to the supplies to use in military emergencies.
The report also said that a South Korean stockpile could send more American arms.
The US is also buying 100,000 155 mm shells from South Korea, which it will then send to Ukraine, Insider reported.
Additionally, Pakistan is sending 159 containers of artillery ammunition to Ukraine, according to India’s Economic Times.
The US’ scramble for more ammunition to send to Ukraine comes as Russia and Ukraine gear up for expected renewed fighting in the spring.
Russia says it has launched a new offensive in Zaporizhzhia region
Russia and Ukraine have heavily used artillery in the attritional war in Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, that began in the summer. In November, the Pentagon estimated that Russia fired about 20,000 shells daily, while Ukraine fired between 4,000 and 7,000.
On Saturday, reports of new fighting on the previously dormant front in the southern Ukrainian oblast of Zaporizhzhia went public. Russian forces launched over 160 shelling attacks at 21 towns and cities overnight, The Telegraph reported, in what Russia described as a new offensive.
—AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 21, 2023
Ukraine expects to receive a haul of weapons and ammunition from allies. According to the BBC, nine European countries are sending support packages to Ukraine after meeting in Germany on Friday. The group includes the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
The packages include 600 Brimstone missiles from the UK, self-propelled howitzers, anti-tank grenade launchers, and support vehicles.
Speaking in Estonia, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “In 2023, it is time to turn the momentum that the Ukrainians have achieved in pushing back Russia into gains and push them back out of Ukraine and to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty, which is their right under international law,” the BBC reported.
The US also pledged further support for Ukraine, saying the nation will deliver a $2.5 billion military-aid package, which includes 59 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers, 53 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, and 350 high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, Reuters reported.
But Ukraine, which has repeatedly called for a supply of hundreds of modern tanks, hasn’t been able to get the German-made Leopard tanks at the top of its wish list. And for the time being, that doesn’t seem likely to change, Insider reported.
Despite mounting pressure on Berlin to supply its own Leopards or, at the very least, allow other groups to send them, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has remained hesitant.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told German television: “You can absolutely keep talking like this for another six months, but here people are dying every day. If you’ve got Leopard tanks, just give them to us,” The Times reported.