Ukraine is at risk of losing a major battleground city to Russia due to a lack of ammunition, the United States has said. (Photo by Kostya Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)


Out-of-ammo Ukrainians could lose battleground city to Russia, US says


Ukraine risks of losing a major battleground city to Russia because of insufficient ammunition, the United States has said.

Speaking at a White House press conference, security spokesman John Kirby warned the city of Avdiivka imminently risks falling under Moscow’s control because the Ukrainians lack necessary munitions to defend the position.

“In very large part, this is happening because Ukrainian forces on the ground are running out of artillery ammunition,” he explained on Thursday, February 15.

Ukrainian government sources confirmed to the US the situation was now “critical”, and Kyiv’s troops on the ground were now under imminent threat of being “overrun”, he added.

Kirby went on to link the situation to the US Congress’s failure to pass a $60 billion support package for Ukraine.

“Russia is sending wave after wave of conscript forces to attack Ukrainian positions. And because Congress has yet to pass the supplemental bill, we have not been able to provide Ukraine with the artillery shells that they desperately need to disrupt these Russian assaults,” he said.

“The cost of inaction by the Congress is stark. And it’s being borne on the shoulders of Ukrainian soldiers.”

“We need Congress to pass the national security supplemental bill without further delay. If House Republicans do not act soon, what is happening in Avdiivka right now could very well happen elsewhere along that front,” he concluded.

According to the Washington Post, Avdiivka’s fall would represent Russia’s most important victory since Ukraine’s stalled counteroffensive began last year.

It would also represent a sign the conflict is once again shifting, with Ukraine again back in a defensive position as supplies from the West dwindle.

With many experts now anticipating the city will soon fall to Moscow’s troops, hawkish politicians in the West have started using the crisis as an example of what happens when Kyiv is not given the necessary support.

“Russia advancing in Ukraine because the West fails to give Ukrainians the ammunition they need,” Renew Europe MEP Guy Verhofstadt wrote online.

“Freedom must triumph over Russia’s murderous terrorism!” he added. “We must urgently strengthen Europe’s defence industry.”

The UK’s foreign minister, and former prime minister, Lord Cameron has meanwhile become one of the latest overseas politicians to attempt push the US Congress to approve the Biden administration’s aid package for Ukraine.

“I believe our joint history shows the folly of giving in to tyrants in Europe who believe in redrawing boundaries by force,” he wrote in a guest opinion piece for The Hill.

“I do not want us to show the weakness displayed against Hitler in the 1930s. He came back for more, costing us far more lives to stop his aggression.”