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ABC News: Ukraine could face 'catastrophic' arms shortage within weeks, US officials say

by Elsa Court February 22, 2024 11:46 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers reload an artillery unit on the front line, in the direction of the Kreminna in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, on Jan. 30, 2024. (Ignacio Marin/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Ukraine could face a "catastrophic shortage of ammunition and air defenses" by late March if Congress does not pass a bill that contains $61 billion in crucial funding for Kyiv, ABC News reported on Feb. 22, citing two anonymous U.S. officials.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned on Feb. 14 that Ukrainian troops are running out of ammunition and urged Congress to pass additional funding.

According to internal U.S. estimates, the shortage "could effectively turn the tide of the war and lend Russian President Vladimir Putin a significant advantage," ABC News said.

"The juncture starts now and it just keeps getting worse progressively through the spring and into summer. So, this time period that we are entering is a critical time period," a senior U.S. defense official told ABC News.

Ukraine's withdrawal from the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast on Feb. 17 demonstrated the need for more artillery shells, as well as air defense systems, long-range weapons, and fortifications, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said.

Congressional inaction was responsible for "Russia’s first notable gains in months," U.S. President Joe Biden said in a White House statement on Feb. 17.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby had warned on Feb. 15 that Avdiivka was at risk of falling to Russian hands because the U.S. had "not been able to provide Ukraine with the artillery shells that they desperately need to disrupt these Russian assaults."

"U.S. officials predict similar scenarios will play out elsewhere in Ukraine as the government there is forced to make tough choices," ABC News said.

Air defense capabilities, such as U.S. Patriot systems, are also critically important in defending against Russian attacks.

Some places that are currently protected will be at risk in the future if supplies of interceptors are not maintained, ABC News said. The risk that these supplies could dwindle could completely change "the nature of this fight," one official said.

‘Our reserves will run out:’ Ukrainian artillery sounds alarm on Western shell shortage
Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands
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