Russian forces exploit Ukraine's artillery ammo shortage for strategic advantage: ISW report
War in Ukraine, ISW (Institute for the Study of War) report.
The American think tank refers to an analysis executed by a Ukrainian center called Frontelligence Insight on 1st February. The analysis unveils that Putin's army held fixed artillery shelling positions for extended durations - approximately from the end of 2022 to the beginning of 2023 - when artillery ammunition shortages hindered Ukraine's ability to wage counter-battery warfare, which involves attacking the enemy's artillery positions using cannons and howitzers.
Presently, as Frontelligence Insight reports, Russian forces have begun to position their artillery in a more stationary manner, unafraid of counter-shelling from Ukrainian forces, as of January 2024. This suggests the Ukrainian army is once again facing a deficit in artillery ammunition.
Drones insufficient for counter-battery attacks
Frontelligence Insight highlighted Ukrainian forces can occasionally engage Russian cannons and howitzers, but they generally lack the necessary ammunition for effective counter-battery fire. It emphasized that the absence of Ukrainian counter-battery fire enables Russian artillery to damage cities and villages through bombardments with complete impunity.
The Ukrainian center specified that multiple Ukrainian kamikaze drones lack the required range to strike the numerous Russian artillery guns positioned approximately 9 to 15 miles from the front line.
Difficult decision-making in Kyiv
The ISW estimates that persistent artillery ammunition shortages may compel the Ukrainian army to make challenging decisions. Certain sectors of the front will be prioritized and a larger portion of the dwindling ammunition reserves will be allocated there. Conversely, other sectors, where limited territorial losses are deemed less detrimental, will receive less ammunition.