Ammunition shortages hampering Russian forces in Ukraine, says UK

Ukraine has been helped by UK long-range artillery guns (PA Wire)
Ukraine has been helped by UK long-range artillery guns (PA Wire)

Russian troops battling to stave off a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south are struggling with a lack of ammunition and reserves, UK military chiefs said on Tuesday.

Kyiv’s counter-offensive is also inflicting “battle fatigue and attrition” on Russian units south of the city of Orikhiv, the Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update.

“Elements of the 5th Combined Army are likely to be under particular pressure, and probably also feel that they are long overdue for a rotation out of the frontline,” it said.

“Across the south, common problems for Russian commanders are highly likely to include shortage of artillery ammunition, a lack of reserves and problems securing the flanks of units in the defence.”

Ukrainian forces have been making painstaking progress as they push to drive the Russian invaders off their territory, but Moscow says its own forces have been hitting back in the south and east.

It comes as Ukraine’s humanitarian needs grow as civilians brace for a second winter of war.

The United Nations said that international donors have yet to cough up more than 70 per cent of $3.9 billion (£3 billion) that is needed in Ukraine for the coming winter.

Some 17 million Ukrainians need aid and the world body is aiming to reach between 11 million and 12 million of them, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine Denise Brown said in Kyiv.

More residential buildings have been damaged or destroyed, and thousands of people remain homeless following the collapse of the Kakhovka dam in an incident blamed by Ukraine on a Russian attack.

"We know that donors are doing their best, but the needs are enormous," Ms Brown said. "I’m hopeful that funding will come."