The U.S. has transferred thousands of artillery shells from a military weapons stockpile in Israel to Ukraine for weapons aid.
The Israeli stockpile has traditionally been used to arm U.S. forces operating in the Middle East. The U.S. has begun relying on it to arm Ukrainians, however, as U.S. aid to the country cuts deeper and deeper into stores, the New York Times reported.
The stockpile in Israel is the second major store of weapons the U.S. has begun to drain, as it has also turned to stores in South Korea in recent months.
The location of the stores is politically sensitive, however, as both Israel and South Korea have vowed not to provide lethal aid to Ukraine. Neither of the countries has officially broken that promise, but some fear Russia could argue that allowing the U.S. to siphon arms from their stockpiles constitutes such aid, according to the Times.
The new rush of artillery ammunition comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears the one-year mark. Russia plans to expand the size of its military to 1.5 million troops in the coming years with a series of conscriptions.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the troop increase on Tuesday, which is expected to be complete by 2026, according to Russian state news agency, TASS.
“Only by strengthening the key structural components of the Armed Forces is it possible to guarantee the military security of the state and protect new entities and critical facilities of the Russian Federation,” Shoigu said, according to Reuters.
Russia’s military has around 1 million troops, and it is difficult to estimate how many have been killed in the fighting with Ukraine.
The Kremlin previously considered the size of its armed forces as sufficient, but that changed after hopes for a quick victory over its neighbor were shattered by a fierce Ukrainian resistance.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.