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Defense Ministry: Paris to host 'artillery coalition' to strengthen Ukrainian army

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 24, 2023 8:03 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery on Russian positions on the front line in the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on July 27, 2023. (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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A new "artillery coalition" to strengthen the Ukrainian army will begin its operations in Paris in January 2024, Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Havryliuk announced on Dec. 24 during the meeting with the delegation from the Senate of the French Parliament.

He said that it's crucial for Ukraine to "enhance its firepower by receiving artillery systems from its allies," according to the Defense Ministry’s statement citing Havryliuk.

"In particular, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are interested in further procurement of self-propelled artillery units, such as Caesar," reads the statement.

The Defense Ministry also reported that in 2024, "tests are scheduled for the fire control system of the Caesar self-propelled artillery unit using artificial intelligence."

Havryliuk said the AI implementation "will result in a 30% reduction in the use of ammunition for zeroing in and targeting," the ministry reports.

According to the statement, Havryliuk also asked the French delegation to assist in increasing the number of ammunition for the Caesars.

Earlier on Dec. 18, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said that Ukrainian forces face shortages of artillery shells and have to scale down some military operations due to a decrease in foreign aid.

"There's a problem with ammunition, especially post-Soviet (shells) – that's 122 mm, 152 mm. And today, these problems exist across the entire front line," said Tarnavskyi, who commands the Tavria group of forces.

Russia's advantage in artillery shells has long been one of the key obstacles pointed out by Ukrainian commanders.

"The volumes that we have today are not sufficient for us today, given our needs. So, we're redistributing it," Tarnavskyi said, explaining that the military is scaling down its tasks as a result.

French ambassador: ‘Now is not the time for negotiation, now is the time for war’
Gael Veyssiere (Gaël Veyssière) started his work as French ambassador to Ukraine in August 2023, having previously served as the ambassador to Croatia. He succeeded Etienne de Poncins, who was moved to a posting in Poland after serving as the ambassador in Ukraine for four years. Veyssiere arrived…
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