Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that deliveries of key artillery shells to his country had dropped off after fighting erupted between Israel and Hamas last month.
Israel, which receives US military support, has relentlessly pounded the Gaza Strip since Hamas fighters launched an unprecedented assault on southern Israel last month.
“Our deliveries have decreased,” Zelensky told reporters, referring specifically to 155-millimetre shells that are widely used on the eastern and southern frontlines in Ukraine, saying “they really slowed down”.
“It’s not like the US said: we don’t give Ukraine any. No! It’s just that everyone is fighting for (stockpiles) themselves,” he told reporters.
“This is life. I’m not saying that this is positive, but this is life, and we have to defend what’s ours.”
Both Russia and Ukraine have struggled to maintain and secure stockpiles of shells after nearly two years of intensive long-range duels from batteries kilometres apart.
South Korea has claimed that Russia’s ally, Pyongyang, has sent one million artillery rounds to bolster Moscow’s war in Ukraine in exchange for advice on satellite technology.
Germany meanwhile said this week that the EU will not hit a one-year target of sending a million artillery shells to Ukraine, as the bloc struggles to secure arms supplies for Kyiv.
“Now the warehouses are empty or there is a legal minimum that a particular state cannot give you,” Zelensky told reporters in Kyiv.
“And this is not enough,” he added.
Zelensky however praised efforts in the United States to ramp up production.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine has made any significant territorial gains for a year, and Kyiv’s top army commander has said that fighting had ground to a stalemate.