The Armed Forces of Ukraine are still lacking artillery shells and equipment. Western partners are helping Ukraine with ammunition, but it is clear that the delivery targets for shells will not be met. However, at the same time, the power of Russian artillery has been greatly reduced. In fact, despite all the challenges that Ukraine is facing, the artillery duels are becoming more even.
Oleg Kalashnikov, the representative of Ukraine’s 26th Artillery Brigade, said that on October 13 this year, an important change in this war happened – for the first time since the beginning of the invasion, the Ukrainians began to fire more artillery shells per day than the invaders from Russia.
In the fourth quarter of 2023, the occupiers fired an average of 7,000 shells per day, while the defenders of Ukraine fired 9,000. It needs to be said that Kalashnikov noted that the superiority of the Ukrainian artillery currently does not exist in all sectors of the combat zone.
“There is the Avdiivka sector, there are places in the north where the enemy is trying to inflict maximum damage and fire the maximum number of shells per day. The number can be 10 thousand shells,” said the representative of the 26th Artillery Brigade.
“If we calculate on average, the situation of the enemy has worsened: on some days, 8 thousand shells are fired. If we recall the dynamics of the invasion in March-April 2022, there were 70-80 thousand artillery shots per day. Last May, there were 60 thousand. Then this number gradually began to decline,” Kalashnikov said.
According to him, when the number of Russian artillery shots decreased to 50 thousand per day, the Russian soldiers no longer had good fire support for their attacks and their advance began to slow down. The Armed Forces of Ukraine then launched a counterattack, which resulted in some liberated areas (such as Kherson).
“In January of this year, the enemy fired 20,000 shells a day. Later, that number became 15 thousand and in the summer – 12 thousand”, said the representative of the 26th brigade.
According to him, this change depends not only on the depleted ammunition stocks, but also on the destruction of enemy trucks. It is difficult for the Russians to bring shells to the front lines. “This is another reason why the Russians may not have as many shells in their firing positions as they would like,” Kalashnikov concluded.
And on top of that, the defenders of Ukraine are attacking ammunition depots, roads and railways. Long-range weapons forced Russians to move their warehouses further away, which stretched the lines of logistics. All these factors are coming together now – the defenders of Ukraine are finally achieving some level of artillery superiority.
Written by Povilas M.