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Czechia finds funds to purchase 500,000 shells for Ukraine

Facing a six-month delay in US military aid and unfulfilled EU promises, an initiative by the Czech Republic has garnered support from approximately 20 countries, collectively pledging to provide 500,000 rounds of much-needed shells.
Transportation of 155mm shells. Credit: Militarnyi
Czechia finds funds to purchase 500,000 shells for Ukraine

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on 16 April that 20 countries that joined the Czech initiative to purchase artillery ammunition for Ukraine’s Defense Forces promised to provide funds to acquire 500,000 rounds of ammunition.

Ukraine faces a significant artillery ammunition shortage due to a six-month delay in US military aid and the European Union’s inability to fulfill its promises of providing 1 million shells.

In February, the Czechia launched an initiative to secure at least 800,000 large-caliber ammunition rounds from countries worldwide, with initial deliveries to Ukraine anticipated by June. This initiative has garnered support from approximately 20 countries, including Germany, which pledged the highest contribution thus far, amounting to 576 million euros.

“Around 20 countries have already joined our initiative – from Canada, Germany and the Netherlands to Poland,” Fiala said during a speech in Washington. “We can now provide around 500,000 artillery rounds. We believe there will be more deliveries to come.”

Fiala said this initiative is not a one-off project. “Our goal is to create a long-term system for supplying ammunition for heavy weapons. This will directly help change the situation on the front lines,” he said.

According to him, this initiative can help meet Ukraine’s ammunition needs until the European defense industry can produce enough ammunition.

Fiala did not provide details on the amount of funds pledged to purchase artillery shells, but Tomas Kopecny, the Czech envoy for Ukraine’s recovery, told Czech Radio on 16 April that this is approximately $3 billion, according to Radio Liberty.

Ukraine has repeatedly asked its Western allies to supply more ammunition, as its troops are lacking on the battlefield.

Gen. Christopher Cavoli, head of US European Command, warned Congress that the war in Ukraine had reached a critical juncture. Russia is expected to have a 10:1 advantage in artillery shells within weeks unless the US approves additional military support for Ukraine, according to Cavoli.

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