Oleksandr Kamyshin, the Minister of Strategic Industries, stated in an interview with The Independent media outlet that amidst a brutal artillery war with Russia, Ukraine requires an amount of ammunition that “no single country can deliver.”

He said that even the United States couldn’t deliver the needed ammunition.

As the war entered its third year, Ukraine ramped up cost-effective methods to bolster its defenses and significantly increased domestic production, with a threefold surge in 2023 and plans for a sixfold boost this year.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Rustem Umerov, disclosed over the weekend that half of the pledged military aid from Western allies is arriving late, “costing lives and territory.”

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Ukraine has received only a third of the one million artillery shells the European Union had committed to delivering by March of last year.

President Volodymyr Zelensky recently acknowledged that daily, Russian forces unleash an average of seven times more munitions on Ukrainian troops than they can retaliate with. Recent reports suggest that Ukraine has been forced to limit its forces to firing just 2,000 artillery rounds per day.

“Capable of making more, but don’t have the funding for it.”

“Our defense industry capabilities are several times larger than the funding available to support it, so right now, we have to cherry-pick,” Kamyshin told The Independent. “We are capable of making more, but we don’t have the funding for it."

Ukraine Says Still Fighting on Dnipro River Left Bank
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Ukraine Says Still Fighting on Dnipro River Left Bank

Ukraine's military spokesman Dmytro Lykhoviy said on state TV that Ukrainian forces are active on the left bank of the Dnipro, with main positions in Krynky heavily damaged by enemy fire.

He revealed that Ukraine prioritizes ammunition, then drones, and then air defense with the available funds, adding, “The rest suffers.”

Kamyshin added that it could be something that the United States and other partners could cover, mentioning that the Ukrainian authorities are asking the UK and the US for funding.

The minister acknowledged that regardless of Ukraine's domestic production, it will continue to depend on external supply due to the intensity of the battlefield.

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However, advancing new technologies, such as FPV drones and long-range drones striking deep into Russian territory, significantly contribute to this effort and could potentially lead to achieving air superiority “for the first time.”

In terms of support, he emphasized the importance of financing, stating, “It is in the interest of our partners like the US and the UK to fund our industry – and let us produce more to win the war.”

Ukraine is becoming a global pioneer in unmanned systems

Kamyshin disclosed that Ukraine is positioning itself as a global leader in drone technology, with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) emerging as a crucial element in Ukraine's modern battlefields.

The significance of drones is so pronounced that Zelensky declared the establishment of a distinct military branch, the Unmanned Systems Force, focused on UAVs and their technologies, The Independence highlighted.

“Domestic production is crucial,” Kamyshin reported.

He stated that Ukraine can produce over one million first-person-view (FPV) drones this year, along with thousands of drones capable of flying over 1,000 km, reaching as far as refineries in Russia, stressing, “This is a game-changer.”

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“Our defense tech is really cool, and together with the newly formed force of unmanned drone systems, it will deliver results,” Kamyshin said.

The minister said that Ukraine is on track to become a global pioneer in unmanned systems: “We have technology we can share: our naval and flying drones are already better and cheaper than any other country.”

Additionally, Kamyshin told The Independent that those products could be available for partners to strengthen joint defense capabilities.

He said that Ukraine possesses rapid capabilities in developing these new technologies, actively testing prototypes on the battlefield in real time.

Kamyshin had previously addressed the capabilities of the Ukrainian defense complex on Dec. 27, 2022, saying that they were about twice as large as the available funding.

“Therefore, together with the team of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister, and the President, we are working on finding additional funding for this sector,” he said.

Kamyshin also said that weapon production in Ukraine began only in recent years as a response to Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, focusing on artillery shells, drones, armored personnel carriers, and other military equipment."

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Currently, the defense industry employs 300,000 workers and comprises 500 enterprises, with 400 privately owned.

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