Ukraine has started producing artillery shells, but still needs help from outside, minister says
Alexander Kamyshin (Photo: Valentyna Polishchuk/LIGA.net)

Ukraine has resumed domestic production of artillery shells, however, given the needs of the Ukrainian army, it still needs assistance from Western allies, announced Alexander Kamyshin, Minister of Strategic Industry, before the start of the EU-Ukraine Defense Industries Forum.

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"We have started to produce artillery ammunition, but, as in other positions, there will never be enough of it in Ukraine. No matter how much we produce and no matter how much we increase our own capabilities, we will continue to depend on external supplies," he said.

According to Kamyshin, the needs of the Defense Forces in artillery shells are greater than the defense capabilities of "all the countries of the free world together."

Therefore, it is wrong to say that the Ministry of Strategic Industries provides the full needs of the Ukrainian army.

"We are talking about the fact that we have become a significant contribution to such provision of the Defense Forces," said the minister.

Kamyshin added that the Ukrainian defense industry faces three main challenges.

Firstly, it is funding, secondly – constant attacks and thirdly, as far as the production of artillery ammunition is concerned, there is a global shortage of explosives and gunpowder.

On January 3, 2024, Prime Minister Shmyhal announced that defense production in Ukraine should increase sixfold in 2024.

On February 17, the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, announced that 800,000 shells could be sent to Ukraine if funding was available.

Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland and other countries – about 20 in total – joined the Czech initiative to purchase artillery shells for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

On March 13, the adviser to the Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that the ammunition purchased at the Czech initiative could arrive in Ukraine at the beginning of summer.

Slovak citizens have already collected almost 4 million euros for ammunition for Ukraine.