Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov wrote a big post on Facebook addressing Ukrainians, which summed up the work of the ministry since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
First, the Minister reported that the Polish 155-mm AHS Krab SpGH are ready to perform tasks at the front. This is the fifth 155-mm system after the M777, FH70, Ceasar and M109A3, which entered the Armed Forces.
“The key strategic decision of the past period was a change of philosophy. We launched the transfer of the Armed Forces to heavy weapons used by NATO member states. This is especially true of artillery, which plays a key role”, writes Mr. Reznikov. “We were well aware in early March that during the intense war with Russia, our resources are depleted, and the existing reserves are incomparable with the enemy. Relying solely on Soviet weapons would be a losing ground in advance. That’s why, with the help of partners, we initiated the supply of 155-mm artillery and other heavy weapons.”
According to the Minister, there are now more than 150 155-mm artillery platforms in the Armed Forces, and the stockpiles of shells of this caliber are already 10% higher than the stockpiles of large-caliber shells of the Soviet type, as of February 24, 2022. At the same time, NATO shells are more efficient, so their costs are lower. The Ministry of Defense has already fulfilled the initial request from the Armed Forces for 90% caliber artillery. 100% of this initial need will be closed within 1-2 weeks.
Separately, the Minister noted the selfless work of specialists of Ukroboronprom, who restored and put into service hundreds of units of military and special equipment, including trophy.
In addition, Mr. Reznikov spoke about the chain of decisions on the supply of a weapon. The request for weapons is formed by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. After that, teams of the Ministry of Defense, defense attaches and diplomats work with him. The received weapons are transferred by the Ministry of Defense to the warehouses of the Armed Forces. The allcoation is carried out by the command of the Armed Forces, because it sees the big picture, forms the plan of operations and determines priorities.
According to the Minister, the training of Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers on some types of weapons began in advance, back in March, and now more than 1,500 Ukrainian servicemen are being trained or will start training in the near future.
“The important thing is that we have already received a significant amount of weapons from our partners, bought them on the market, manufactured them and handed them over to the Armed Forces. It would be enough for a victorious defense against any army in Europe. But not from Russia,” says Mr. Reznikov.
Therefore, the following goals of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine are planned:
- obtain a significant amount of NATO-style MLRS and ammunition;
- ensure the complete replacement of some existing Soviet-style calibers (old guns, shells not produced or very few) to platforms that are common in NATO countries and equipped with ammunition;
- agree with partners on the transition to supply not in the form of separate platforms, but in the form of integral units that are immediately ready to perform combat missions (organic unit). This will significantly increase efficiency on the battlefield;
- attract hundreds of units of heavy armored vehicles, without which an effective counterattack is impossible. It should be borne in mind that Soviet equipment is mostly obsolete and needs to be brought into combat. And we still get fairly light armor from our partners, not always with weapons;
- get fighter jets and anti-aircraft missiles to protect our skies.
The Minister thanked the countries that support Ukraine. In particular, the United States, Great Britain, Poland, the Baltic States, as well as the entire Ukrainian society and volunteers.
“The situation at the front is difficult. We lose up to a hundred of our soldiers killed and up to 500 wounded every day. The Kremlin continues to press the masses, slips is exposed to strong resistance, and incurs huge losses. But so far they have the strength to advance in some parts of the front. It is important to stay focused. Then Ukraine will win!” summed up Reznikov.