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PM: First batch of shells under Czech-led initiative may arrive in Ukraine 'in coming days'

by Kateryna Denisova May 29, 2024 12:33 AM 2 min read
Shells are stored at the workshop of the "Forges de Tarbes," which produces 155mm shells, the munition for French Caesar artillery, in Tarbes, southwestern France, on April 4, 2023. (Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images)
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Ukraine may receive the first batch of ammunition purchased by allied countries under the Prague-led initiative "in the coming days," Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on May 28, according to the Czech media outlet Aktualne.cz.

Czech President Petr Pavel said in February that Prague had identified 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells outside Europe that could be bought and sent to Ukraine after the necessary funds were allocated to the initiative.

Several countries have since contributed funds to the Czech initiative, which may result in the delivery of 1.5 million rounds to Kyiv, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said in late March.

According to Fiala, a total of 15 EU countries and NATO have already allocated more than 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 million) for the effort.

"The first tens of thousands of 155 mm (rounds of) ammunition will arrive in Ukraine in June," he said ahead of a meeting with European officials in Prague.

Pavel launched the initiative against the backdrop of Ukraine losing the key front-line city of Avdiivka in February amid a severe ammunition shortage.

Russia has since intensified aerial attacks on Ukrainian cities and launched a new offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, which has reportedly been halted by the first line of defense.

Russia is managing to produce artillery shells at triple the speed of Ukraine’s allies for a quarter of the price, Sky News reported on May 26, referencing analysis from management consulting firm Bain & Company.

Inside the Swedish ammunition plant at the forefront of Europe’s push to ramp up shell production
KARLSKOGA, SWEDEN – In a nondescript industrial area nestled among a forest of Swedish pine, a continent-wide effort to ramp up defense production is playing out in real time. A modest, one-story building is home to a seemingly endless ceiling-mounted rail — essentially an upside-down conveyor belt…
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