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Zelensky Warns ‘Warehouses Are Empty’ as He Pleads for More Weapons

by | Jan 10, 2024

Zelensky Warns ‘Warehouses Are Empty’ as He Pleads for More Weapons

by | Jan 10, 2024

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Ukrainian President Zelensky is warning that Kiev’s weapons depots are now empty. On the front lines, Russian forces are on the offensive and better equipped than the Ukrainian soldiers struggling to hold territory. The Wall Street Journal reports that Moscow’s soldiers are out firing the opposing army, and Kiev’s troops are using drones in an attempt to hold off the advance. 

In Lithuania, Zelensky requested ammunition and air defenses, claiming delays benefited Russia. “We lack modern air defense systems badly,” he said Wednesday, noting that they are “what we need the most.” The Ukrainian leader added, “Warehouses are empty. And there are many challenges to world defense.”

“Sometimes, the insecurity of partners regarding financial and military aid to Ukraine only increases Russia’s courage and strength,” he said. “[Putin] won’t finish this [war] until we all finish him together. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova may be next.”

Along with air defense, Ukrainians need artillery shells and manpower. “With artillery shells running low, Ukrainian troops on the front lines are improvising and using explosive drones to try to hold the Russians back,” the Journal explains. “Ukrainian forces are running short on ammunition, money and manpower. Many brigades are depleted from the summer counteroffensive, which failed to make a significant breakthrough.”

Kiev is relying on drones because they are cheaper to produce and can be equipped with explosives by front line soldiers. However, the drones lack range, speed, and explosive power. The small explosives are less effective against concrete walls and armor. 

While drones are more accessible than shells, the soldiers’ supply is restricted by Kiev. One platoon reported only having 20 drones and needing special permission to hit the same target twice.  

Additionally, Ukrainian troops said there was a shortage of manpower and their platoon was half the size it should be. Ukrainian forces report only being able to return fire for about one for every three Russian shells. 

The Joe Biden administration, Ukraine’s largest backer, is out of funds to arm Ukraine. The White House placed the next aid package for Kiev in a bill with aid for Taipei, Tel Aviv, and border security. Republicans have stonewalled the legislation over demands that Biden agree on changes in immigration laws and enforcement policies. It is unclear if the deadlock will be resolved any time soon.

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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