Kyiv hopes to have enough battlefield ammunition by April, PM says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 19, 2024 | 9:33 AM

(Reuters) – Ukraine hopes to have enough ammunition for its outgunned troops to repel Russian aggression starting from April amid a Czech-led initiative to source shells for supply, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Tuesday.

Kyiv’s troops were forced to retreat from the eastern city of Avdiivka in February in their biggest battlefield setback since May 2023 and face shell shortages, with a crucial military aid package from the U.S. blocked for months by Republicans in Congress.

“We hope that this Czech initiative, which Luxembourg joined, will help us, and beginning since April we will have enough ammunition to deter our front line,” Shmyhal told a news conference on a visit to Luxembourg.

Prague located 800,000 artillery rounds in third countries earlier this year to supply to Ukraine and says it raised funds from allies to purchase a first batch of 300,000.

A senior Czech official said the first deliveries were expected by June at the latest.

“We also count on the supplying of long-range and middle-range missiles to cut Russian logistics on the occupied territories. It is also crucially important, (just) as the artillery shells are for us,” Shmyhal said.

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa, Anastasia Malenko, editing by Ed Osmond, William Maclean)