Ukraine primarily needs shells: General Kryvonos on confronting Russian troops
Major General Serhiy Kryvonos says that Ukraine should have started producing shells long ago, otherwise the initiative won't be on the Ukrainian army's side
He said this on Espreso TV.
"In early 2020, the government laid off 1,300 employees at the Artem plant, and at that time it was a powerful enterprise that could produce 18,000 shells a year. As for the future, in early 2021, production could have expanded to 360,000 shells per year. If this enterprise operated at full capacity, it would produce about 700,000 shells in two years. And with today's consumption, this is 70 days of active artillery warfare along the entire Russian-Ukrainian front using even our own shells," the general said.
According to him, NATO warehouses have accumulated shells that the Alliance needs to solve strategic problems in the interests of those states whose warehouses they are stored in.
"Capitalist countries cannot afford to have or produce surpluses if there is no need for them. Those shells that we had in huge quantities after the Soviet Union, some of them were sold, some were destroyed during the bombing of our warehouses in different years and under different presidents. And another part was "successfully disposed of" during 2012-13, when hundreds of thousands of shells were shot under the guise of recycling, according to the order of the General Staff. And then, having fired so much ammunition, we catastrophically reduced the life of our artillery barrels," said Serhiy Kryvonos.
He emphasized that it is important to understand that it was necessary to produce shells in Ukraine long ago.
"First and foremost, we need ammunition. When the enemy attack on Avdiivka began, our intelligence worked perfectly - it timely detected the advance of enemy columns and provided the coordinates. However, the number of artillery shells at the disposal of our artillerymen was so small that we could not inflict powerful fire damage on the enemy. This is the problem. The most important thing in war is not bravery at the level of the first trench, but to detect the enemy in advance and react in time to thwart his intentions. In war, the first to strike often wins. And in the absence of artillery shells, the initiative will not be on our side," the military explained.
In his opinion, if the Ukrainian defense could have deployed a large number of drones in the Avdiivka sector, when the Russian forces were moving in columns, to destroy soldiers and equipment, the enemy offensive would have been thwarted. The general added that the problem of the availability of different calibers of small arms and artillery systems in the Ukrainian Armed Forces needs to be addressed.
On September 30, Reuters reported, citing the responsible EU agency, that seven EU countries had ordered ammunition under the EU procurement scheme to urgently deliver artillery shells to Ukraine and replenish depleted stocks in Western warehouses.
On October 17, Defense news reported that French defense companies are increasing production of weapons, including 155mm artillery shells, fighter jets, anti-aircraft missiles, and self-propelled artillery systems.