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Intelligence Deputy Chief: Russia aims to manufacture 2.7 million artillery shells in 2024

As Russia aims to increase shell production to 2.7 million in 2024 from 2 million in 2023, Ukraine faces severe ammunition shortages which affects Ukrainian army’s capabilities on the front line
Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Deputy Chief General Vadym Skibitskyi. Credit: RBC-Ukraine
Intelligence Deputy Chief: Russia aims to manufacture 2.7 million artillery shells in 2024

Russia plans to produce 2.7 million shells in 2024, Ukraine’s Military Intelligence reported on 26 February, citing Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Deputy Chief General Vadym Skibitskyi in his interview for Interfax.

Russia has a big advantage in the number of ammunition compared with the Ukrainian military. Ukraine faces a significant shortage of artillery shells on the frontline since the Republicans in the US Congress have blocked the aid bill worth $ 61 million. US President Joe Biden said right after Ukraine’s Armed Forces withdrew from a key logistic city in Donetsk Oblast, Avdiivka, that lack of ammunition sources forced the Ukrainian military to retreat from Avdiivka.

“Russia manufactured about 2 million rounds of 122mm and 152mm caliber ammunition in 2023 by simply fulfilling the state defense order,” Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Deputy Chief General Vadym Skibitskyi said in his interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Skibitskyi also said that according to Ukraine intelligence, the Russian military took all the ammunition out of Belarus, “so there is nothing left to take from there.”

Russia also received 1.5 million 122 mm and 152 mm shells from North Korea. According to Ukraine’s Deputy Chief, this is 70-80-year-old ammunition, and half of it does not work.

Skibitskyi said that Russia aims to increase its own production.

“It seems they (Russia) want to reach 2.7 million rounds. But these are plans. We’ll see if they are implemented,” Skibitskyi said.

Skibitskyi added that the announced volume of shell production requires an upgrade of production capabilities. He said that sanctions play “an important role in confronting this.”

“That’s why we ask our partners for sanctions to target machine tools, materials used to manufacture electronic chips, microcircuits, etc. It’s a very wide range, and currently, the Defense Intelligence Directorate and our intelligence community are working in this direction,” the General said.

The EU adopted the 13th package of sanctions against Russia on 23 February, aimed to blacklist Russian drone producers and global procurement networks supplying components to Moscow’s military. The latest package imposed restrictive measures on “an additional 106 individuals and 88 entities.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrelll said, visiting Kyiv in early February 2024, that the EU will provide Ukraine with over 1 million rounds of ammunition by the end of 2024. In 2023, the EU pledged to supply Ukraine with 1 million rounds by March 2024. However, according to various estimates, it has fulfilled only between a third and a half of what was promised.

Borrelll also said that the EU is not fulfilling its own plans for artillery shell deliveries to Ukraine, not because EU countries lack production capacity but because they are exporting shells to other nations instead.

The increase in shell production in Russia means Russia is planning to attack more against Ukraine and keep up following its goal in the war against Ukraine in 2024. Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov said at the forum “Ukraine. Year 2024” that Russia’s plan for 2024 is the same, the Kyiv Independent reported. In particular, Russia aims to “destroy Ukrainian statehood and reach the administrative border of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.”

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