In the course of about six months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kiev acquired thousands of military pieces that helped it in its battles against the Russian forces, especially heavy weapons, which played a prominent role in changing the balance of power.
At the start of the fighting, Ukraine relied mainly on drones and anti-tank weapons before turning to the heavy artillery it received from the United States, France, Germany and other allies.
For example, US HIMARS precision missiles, which Kyiv received in June, have given a significant boost to operations, and other shipments from Washington are scheduled to arrive soon.
Javelin anti-tank missiles
The Western Allies have supplied the Ukrainian military with approximately 17,000 light, shoulder-fired, self-guided missiles, which have become the weapon of choice in land warfare.
Among them, the US-made Javelin missiles designed to target the anti-missile defense of Russian tanks, which have become legendary in their effectiveness, according to “AFP”.
Pictures of Ukrainian soldiers carrying Javelin missile launchers on their shoulders have spread around the world, making this weapon a symbol of resistance.
The Ukrainian forces also received thousands of other anti-tank weapons, including the British “NLAW”, the “AT4”, the Swedish “Carl-Gustav”, the German “Panzerfausts” and the Spanish “Instalaza C90”.
But “Javelin” has become the weapon of choice to the extent that a “meme” has been circulated on social media, in which it appears as a religious icon, and a famous Ukrainian song has been composed to glorify it.
“Stinger” .. anti-aircraft missile
Ukraine acquired “Stinger” anti-aircraft missiles, which are shoulder-fired missiles that use ultraviolet radiation.
Washington supplied it to Afghan fighters in the 1990s so they could shoot down Russian helicopters.
The Ukrainians used it effectively against Russian helicopters and slower, lower altitude, fixed-wing attack aircraft.
The Ukrainian forces received from the German army 500 “Stinger” missiles and about 500 “Strela” surface-to-air missiles.
Bayraktar.. Turkish “Pride”
Ukraine mainly operated Turkish Bayraktar drones, as well as small aircraft used largely for reconnaissance.
Bayraktar’s planes badly damaged Russian convoys at the start of the invasion, and were used to target a large Russian ship on Snake Island in the middle of the Black Sea in an operation documented on video.
The Ukrainian military publishes a video of the bombing of a Russian ship by a “Bayraktar” aircraft
On Saturday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense published a video clip documenting the military’s attack on the Russian ship “Serena”.
This procession is capable of flying for up to 27 hours non-stop at a speed of 220 kilometers per hour, at an operational altitude varying between 18 and 25 thousand feet, according to the website of the manufacturing company “Baykar”.
It can carry “four smart laser guided munitions”.
American howitzer defender
Its use was essential in the context of Western support of Ukraine with heavy weapons to help it in the battles of Donbass and to weaken the Russian forces in general.
Howitzers are short guns used to fire at high ranges, and can fire four rounds per minute, according to US military data.
This will be decisive in Eastern Ukraine.. What are the American howitzers?
US President Joe Biden recently announced an additional $800 million military aid package to Ukraine to help Kiev fight Russian forces in Donbass.
And NATO countries sent thousands of howitzers, and some trained Ukrainian artillerymen to use them.
Kiev received the M270 multiple launch missile systems promised by the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway. The M270 systems use the “hit and run” principle to minimize confrontation with the Russians.
BM-21 Grad missiles
This rocket launcher, a truck-mounted multiple rocket launcher, was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s.
This launcher can quickly fire at an enemy target at shorter ranges, but has lower accuracy than other multiple rocket launchers, according to the US military.
HIMARS rocket launchers
US mobile HIMARS launchers have enabled Ukraine to attack Russian bases behind the front lines, including ammunition depots.
The HIMARS mission represented a turnaround from before it was sent last June, when Ukraine relied mainly on drones and anti-tank weapons such as the Javelin, which did not prevent Russian forces from gaining territory in eastern Ukraine.
These missiles are part of a new $775 million military aid package for Ukraine that the Pentagon said last month was aimed at helping Kiev transform the course of fighting and rehabilitate countries occupied by Russian forces.
The Economist magazine said a few days ago that it “played an important role in the stunning Ukrainian attack in Kharkiv, as well as a separate attack in the south.”
The highly mobile artillery system “HIMARS” is a multiple launcher mounted on light armored vehicles and therefore mobile. It fires guided missiles using the Global Positioning System (GPS), with a range of approximately 80 km.
Unlike the artillery used by both sides of the war, these missiles hit their targets precisely, making it possible to use them reliably.
These missiles are characterized by their flying speed and at a low altitude, so that Russian defenses cannot easily intercept them. The speed of movement of the launchers makes it difficult to target them.
President Joe Biden had previously indicated that it would “make it possible to more accurately hit key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine”, with Kiev stressing that it would not be used “to strike Russian territory”.
In fact, it was credited with destroying Russian command posts, ammunition depots, and other artillery designed to disrupt supply lines and logistics systems behind Russian lines.
Mick Ryan, a former Australian general, wrote in a tweet that the HIMARS system “changes the face of fighting in Ukraine. It allows the Ukrainians to target the Russians at a greater distance and in areas that they could not reach until now due to Russian air defenses.”
Hitting distant Russian positions also relied on powerful artillery pieces from other allies, such as the French “Cesars” guns, and the German self-propelled guns, “Panzerhaupitz 2000”.
Mick Ryan explained that Ukraine uses these weapons against the weaknesses of the Russian military, specifically its tendency to store its ammunition near railway depots and in cities near the front line.
The US military recently announced its intention to send “HARM” missiles as part of a new assistance package, which are aircraft-launched missiles used to seek out and target radar-equipped anti-aircraft systems. to destroy.
These missiles are equipped with a projectile weighing about 350 kg, with a range of about 145 km, “and are capable of detecting and hitting radar systems even after they have been turned off.”
The extinguishing of the “air defense” of the enemy… How does “HARM” affect the course of the Ukrainian war?
In a “surprise” move, the United States announced the supply of air-to-surface anti-radar missiles to Ukraine, which have largely contributed to tilting the Ukrainian military in recent battles against Russian forces.
And Bloomberg agency said in a previous analysis that about half a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the war has changed the assumptions about the Russian military, and instead of confirming Moscow as a global military power, the results on the ground proved the exact opposite.
US officials have made it clear that Ukrainian capabilities, backed by advanced Western weapons and training, have closed an important gap, particularly the HIMARS systems.
“It shows what continuous training and provision of weapons can do when a force is highly motivated and able to employ it,” said a senior NATO official.
There is a clear sense among American and Western advisers in Ukraine that the Ukrainian military is on a much more equal footing with Russia than was thought even just a few months ago.
AFP says that “the war in Ukraine will be decided by each side’s ammunition,” noting that the Ukrainians rely on Western military aid, and the Russians use all their means under the sanctions imposed on them, and in this context , a race takes place to see which of the two sides will give in before the other runs out of weapons and ammunition.
The Pentagon announced that it had information that Russia had contacted North Korea to request munitions from it, “knowing the matter was related to missiles and artillery shells worth millions of dollars.”
“What is left of the Russians is shrouded in ambiguity,” French researcher Pierre Grasset told AFP. “They had enough supplies for their original plan, but the cards were reshuffled as the war dragged on longer than expected and supplies were destroyed by HIMARS missiles. .”
But Andrey Illarionov, a former economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and currently working for the US Center for Security Policy (CSB), believes that military aid to Ukraine is absolutely insufficient to hope for a victory over Russia.
He considered that “military aid to Ukraine does not exceed $3 billion per month, and the total expenditure of the coalition of allies and Ukraine together is about $7 billion per month, it appears at its peak… What As for Russia, the estimates vary between 15 and 27 billion dollars per month,” notes. He pointed out that “in a long war of attrition the essential factor is the military expenditure factor.”
As for Grasse, “In terms of military value, the two sides are equal. The Ukrainians have fewer weapons than the Russians, but now they are much more accurate.”
He added, “The Ukrainians have consumed virtually all of their former Soviet-style ammunition. To avoid the shortage, the West has supplied Kiev with approximately 239 pieces of 155 mm caliber, NATO caliber.”
He continued, “In addition to this, there has been a donation of more than 492,000 rocket-propelled grenades since April. They have been consumed since July at a rate of three thousand per day. Technically, Ukraine has what it can withstand until the beginning. of the winter But there are some questions about NATO’s ability to provide after that.