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kyiv army commander says his troops have ‘little or no weapons and ammunition’

2024-03-29 16:48:32

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (center) and Oleksandr Syrsky then commander of ground forces (right), in Kupiansk, in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, November 30, 2023. Efrem Lukatsky/AP/SIPA

By Le Nouvel Obs with AFP

Published on March 29, 2024 at 5:48 p.m.

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Ukraine’s commander-in-chief said his troops were fighting with “little or no weapons and ammunition”once again calling on Westerners to deliver ” faster “ faced with a Russian army having increased the use of its air forces.

“Defense forces carry out tasks across the vast front line with little to no weapons or ammunition”declared Oleksandre Syrsky in a rare interview given to the Ukrainian agency Ukrinform and broadcast this Friday March 29.

“A few days ago, the enemy’s advantage in ammunition fired was 6 to 1”he added, judging that the situation was “tense” in places.

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Oleksandr Syrsky took over as head of the Ukrainian army in February, after the dismissal of his very popular predecessor, Valery Zaluzhny.

Positions lost due to lack of weapons and anti-aircraft defense

He claimed that Russia had “significantly increased the activity of its aviation”notably using guided aerial bombs “who destroy our positions”.

According to the Commander-in-Chief, “constant bombing” and the lack of ammunition forced his men to withdraw from Avdiïvka, a fortress town recently conquered by the Russians in the Donetsk region (east).

With more weapons and air defense systems, Ukraine would have ” without a doubt “ been able to keep some of the positions it lost, he assured.

The number of additional soldiers revised downwards

Echoing comments from other Ukrainian officials, he called on Western allies to deliver munitions and weapons “faster and in sufficient quantities”.

Oleksandr Syrsky also affirmed that the figure of 500,000 additional soldiers for the army, mentioned by President Volodymyr Zelensky in December, had been revised downwards. “After reviewing our internal resources and clarifying the combat composition of the armed forces, this figure was reduced significantly”he said.

The Ukrainian army is struggling to enlist new recruits to replace those who have been at the front for a long time and military recruitment is the subject of a thorny social debate.

By Le Nouvel Obs with AFP

On the subject War in Ukraine

#kyiv #army #commander #troops #weapons #ammunition

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