In June 2023, Ukraine produced more mortar and artillery shells than in the entire 2022, Minister for Ukraine’s Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Oleksandr Kamyshin refused to specify how many shells were produced in June 2023 and noted that there is still a long way to go to ramp up ammunition production to meet the needs of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Kamyshin said that although monthly shell production is up by multiples of the total 2022 output, Ukraine still has to increase ammunition production.
“I wouldn’t say that we were that great for managing to increase ammunition production in three months. We produced so little in 2022,” Kamyshin said.
Ukraine does its best to establish its own arms and ammunition production so that it is not so dependent on military support from allies that much. Over time, the Minister for Ukraine’s Strategic Industries aims to make Ukraine a major arms exporter again.
“We have to be ambitious because we have no choice. My goal is to make Ukraine the arsenal of the free world,” Kamyshin said.
According to Bloomberg, Ukrainian ammunition production is now increasing, albeit from a low base. Ukraine began to produce more Ukrainian anti-tank systems Stugna-P. The next priority (within three or six months) is to increase the production of tanks and armored vehicles, Kamyshin told Bloomberg.
Before working as Minister for Strategic Industries, Oleksandr Kamyshin worked effectively as the head of Ukraine’s railroads (Ukrzaliznytsia state-run company), helping to keep the railroads running despite constant Russian air strikes and power cuts. The Ukrzaliznytsia trains transported thousands of Ukrainian refugees away from the war zone and Ukrainian troops and supplies toward the front line.
On 21 March 2023, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy named 39-year-old Oleksandr Kamyshin the Minister for Strategic Industries, including defense.