Ukraine: Britons discuss their thoughts on the UK's involvement
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A damning report by Ukrainian and Western intelligence officials today highlighted that Ukraine’s forces are outnumbered 20 to one in artillery and 40 to one in ammunition and that its artillery can only strike from around one-twelfth of the distance of that used by the Russian military. The report also noted that in the Donbas, Ukraine is losing up to 100 troops every day.
The West has pledged extensive support for Kyiv since the launch of Russia’s “special military operation”, including well over £1billion from the UK alone.
Kyiv has also claimed the West has so far only delivered 10 percent of the weapons it promised to send.
New analysis suggests that, despite its grand declarations, it may not be able to do enough to secure Ukraine the victory leaders have declared possible.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg today declared the war could “take years”.
A commentary by Alex Vershinin in the Royal United Services Institute argues: “The winner in a prolonged war between two near-peer powers is still based on which side has the strongest industrial base.
“A country must either have the manufacturing capacity to build massive quantities of ammunition or have other manufacturing industries that can be rapidly converted to ammunition production.
“Unfortunately, the West no longer seems to have either.”
The UK, along with the US, France and other Western powers, has, over time, whittled down its defensive and, of course, attacking capabilities.
READ MORE: Ukraine outgunned ’40 to 1′ with up to 100 soldiers being killed a day
In an online war simulation run last year, the British Army ran out of ammunition after just eight days.
This has raised serious questions over how, if, as the new head of the British Army today suggested, the UK did involve itself ‘on the ground’, it would actually fare in warfare.
General Sir Patrick Sanders has insisted “we are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again”.
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Journalist Ben Aris, responding to the analysis presented in RUSI, wrote in a post on Twitter: “The West only sent 10 percent what Kyiv asked for. But maybe West can’t send more, doesn’t have it?
“That means the race is on to see who puts the economy on war footing first. Russia surely already doing this but Western economies are way more powerful.”
Mr Vershinin argued that the rate of ammunition and equipment consumption in Ukraine “should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled-down their military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency”.
He added: “This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war.”
This “reality”, as Mr Vershinin puts it, does not, however, appear to be being matched with heightened efforts to work towards a form of negotiated peace.
Upon meeting Volodymyr Zelensky for the second time since the beginning of the war, Boris Johnson offered to launch a “major training operation for Ukrainian forces” to “fundamentally change the equation of the war”.
The scheme, according to Number 10, would train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days, but more than this figure are dying, and many more still are adding to the overall casualty list.
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