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Ukraine’s troubling message from the front line: Please send ammo

NATO says it will increase targets for stockpiling ammunition as Kyiv is burning through shells much faster than Western countries can produce them and after a year of conflict in Ukraine has left allied stocks badly depleted.

Feb 14, 2023, updated Feb 14, 2023
In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, a Russian soldier points a gun from a Russian military truck as it drives through an undisclosed location in Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, a Russian soldier points a gun from a Russian military truck as it drives through an undisclosed location in Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

“The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a two-day meeting of the alliance’s defence ministers in Brussels.

NATO completed a survey of the remaining allied stocks, Stoltenberg said, adding that the alliance planned to increase its targets for munitions stockpiles.

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Reuters reported earlier in the day that the alliance completed a survey of the remaining munition stocks, citing a NATO official.

The West needed to ramp up production, with the waiting time for large-calibre ammunition increasing to 28 months from 12 months, Stoltenberg said.

“It is clear that we are in a race of logistics. Key capabilities like ammunition, fuel, and spare parts must reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the initiative on the battlefield. Speed will save lives,” Stoltenberg added.

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