Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that deliveries of artillery shells from the US have “decreased” since Israel unleashed its relentless bombing campaign in Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attack.
The US has provided Ukraine with a huge amount of artillery ammunition since Russia launched its invasion last year, including over 2 million 155mm shells. But supplies are strained as Ukraine is using ammunition at a much faster rate than can be produced by the entire NATO alliance.
Supplies are even more strained now that the US is backing Israel’s onslaught in Gaza. The support includes near-daily weapons shipments. Axios recently reported that the US had diverted 155mm shells initially bound for Ukraine to Israel to replenish an ammunition stockpile in the country.
“Our deliveries have decreased,” Zelensky told reporters on November 16, according to AFP. “It’s not like the US said: we don’t give Ukraine any. No! It’s just that everyone is fighting for (stockpiles) themselves … This is life. I’m not saying that this is positive, but this is life, and we have to defend what’s ours.”
According to Defense One, Ukraine fires about 240,000 155mm artillery shells per month, significantly higher than US monthly production rates. The US has ramped up its monthly production rate to 28,000 shells and is working to reach a goal of 80,000.
Besides the tightening supplies, the Biden administration also has yet to secure new funding for the proxy war in Ukraine. President Biden asked Congress to authorize $61 billion to fund the conflict for another year, but US lawmakers appear more focused on arming and supporting Israel.