Moscow’s intelligence services are adept at identifying storage depots, Kiev’s air force spokesman has admitted
Stockpiling arms and ammunition in Ukraine makes “little sense” due to the ability of Russian forces to effectively identify and strike such locations, Kiev’s air force spokesman has admitted. Yury Ignat also warned that US-made F-16 fighter jets could become “a good target” for Moscow if supplied to Ukraine.
Kiev has increasingly complained about a lack of ammunition supplies from the West in recent months. However, speaking to local media outlet Focus on Saturday, Ignat suggested that the Ukrainian military would not be able to stockpile large quantities of ammunition anyway, due to the threat of it being swiftly destroyed by Russia.
“We cannot take a huge number of missiles,” Ignat said, commenting on stockpiles for air defense systems. “One has to store them somewhere and the enemy will know about it sooner or later.”
The air force spokesman also admitted that it made “little sense to place entire ammunition depots in Ukraine” since Russian intelligence was effective at identifying such locations. This was also true for F-16 fighter jets, he stated, asking: “Will they just arrive here and become a good target for the enemy?”
Western countries announced the creation of a coalition to help Ukraine procure F-16 fighter jets and train pilots to fly the warplanes last year, and the first deliveries are expected later in 2024. The Netherlands and Denmark have spearheaded the effort, promising to donate up to 61 of the aircraft. Earlier in January, Ignat warned that operating both US-made and Soviet-era warplanes would be an “extremely difficult” challenge for Ukrainian troops.
Speaking on Saturday, the air force spokesman also admitted that Ukrainian air defenses would still be ineffective against Russian offensive capabilities regardless of Western supplies, citing the sheer number of S-300 missiles that Moscow possesses, making it impossible to shoot them all down. The Soviet-made S-300 systems are primarily designed for air defense and are capable of intercepting both cruise and ballistic missiles as well as shooting down aircraft. At the same time, they can also potentially be used to strike ground targets.
Kiev’s defense minister, Rustem Umerov, stated earlier this month that the nation’s military was facing a “very real” ammunition shortage. Elsewhere, Western media outlets such as the Washington Post, El Pais, and Die Welt have all described an acute ammunition deficit for Ukrainian troops on the front lines.
In mid-January, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky stated that the world was not producing enough weapons to satisfy Kiev’s needs. Those remarks echoed comments by Ukraine’s strategic industries minister, Aleksandr Kamyshin, who claimed in October that the entire global arms production was “not enough” for his country.
January 22, 2024 at 12:35AM