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- Ukrainian troops are rationing their shells as they face ammunition shortages, The Washington Post reported.
- Old unexploded ordnances and 3D printers to make small munitions help make up the shortfall.
- Western allies are struggling to keep up ammunition production to aid the country.
As Ukraine faces severe ammunition shortages, troops are trying to ration their supplies and find ways of recycling old ones.
According to reporting by The Washington Post, the 59th Motorized Brigade in eastern Ukraine used to fire more than 20 or 30 shells per day with a Soviet-era howitzer — an artillery weapon similar to a cannon. As of late, they shoot only one or two — and sometimes none.
In attempts to innovate, soldiers in underground workshops recycle old unexploded ordnances and use 3D printers to make small munitions that can be dropped from drones, according to the Post.
The military is also being more selective and precise with their targets to not waste shells.
Even so, Ukraine is still firing about 7,700 shells a day — a Ukrainian official told the news outlet on the condition of anonymity. Russia is firing triple that amount, according to some estimates.
In the long-running bloody battles in and around Bakhmut, both sides struggle to secure ammunition and the necessary weapons to keep fighting.
Ahead of Ukraine’s anticipated counter-offensive, the country relies on Western allies for more supplies — who are scrambling to keep up production with the rate of fire.
Supplying Ukraine with enough equipment to hold off a Russian offensive is one thing, Michael Kofman, director of the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses, said earlier this month. It’s another for allies to be able to provide enough equipment “to attain a decisive advantage over Russian forces,” he said, Insider previously reported.
In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of ammunition and depleting allied stockpiles.”
“The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production,” he added, saying allies should invest and expand in the ammunition production for Ukraine.
While the Biden administration promised to send Ukraine over 200,000 rounds of artillery, rockets, and tank rounds, the US is facing extremely high production shortages, Insider reported.
Similarly, the European Union has created a plan to send one million rounds of ammunition but is facing challenges in meeting Ukraine’s needs.