A German newspaper reported that Berlin has no near-term plans to send Kiev Taurus Cruise Missiles. The rejection follows a string of admissions by Western countries that their ability to arm Ukraine is nearing an end.
Bild newspaper reported that Germany was unwilling to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine out of fear Kiev would use the munitions to target the Kirch Bridge. The bridge links southern Russia with the Crimean Peninsula, and the Kremlin views it as critical infrastructure.
Ukraine has targeted the Kirch Bridge on multiple occupations. Successful operations against the roadway have resulted in Moscow escalating its targeting of Ukrainian infrastructure.
Moscow views Kiev’s attacks on its territory as direct Western warfare against Russia. Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the US for waging a proxy war in Ukraine. “No matter what it says, [the US] controls this war, it supplies weapons, munition, intelligence information, data from satellites, it is pursuing a war against us,” he said.
The German refusal to provide Ukraine with cruise missiles comes after a string of setbacks for President Volodymyr Zelensky’s war effort. Kiev’s summer counteroffensive failed to achieve any of its goals.
Then, Zelensky lost a significant amount of support in Eastern Europe. Poland announced an end to weapons transfers to Kiev after the Ukrainian president attacked Warsaw during his UN speech. Hungary declared a total end of support for Kiev, and Slovokians elected a party that ran on a platform of cutting off Ukraine’s military aid.
On Tuesday, Dutch Adm. Rob Bauer warned that Western countries could not produce enough weapons to meet Ukraine’s military needs. “And that has led to higher prices already before the war. And that actually has (been) exacerbated by the fact that we now give away weapon systems to Ukraine, which is great, and ammunition, but not from full warehouses,” he said. “We started to give away from half-full or lower warehouses in Europe and therefore the bottom of the barrel is now visible.”
The same day, the Telegraph reported an unnamed British official expressed the UK has run out of military equipment that it can give to Ukraine, “We’ve given away just about as much as we can afford,” the official told the outlet.
President Joe Biden has continued to repeat the West is committed to arming Ukraine for “as long as it takes.” However, Washington’s arms stockpiles are also running dry. A shortage of 155 MM shells and ATACMS missiles led the White House to send Kiev illegal cluster munitions.