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Germany pledges new ~500 million euro package for Ukraine

The Ukrainian army has been suffering from a massive shortage of artillery ammunition for some time now. Although Germany regularly supplies new artillery shells to Ukraine as part of bilateral military assistance — most recently with around 18,000 shells last month — this can hardly cover the units’ needs.

Too little is being supplied via other countries, too much has been lost due to the lack of new aid from the US, and the situation on the front is too tense. According to current estimates, Ukraine can currently rely on around 2,000, maximum 3,000 artillery shells per day, while Russian troops are firing back with around five times as much.

Two announcements in February gave cause for hope. Firstly, during Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Germany, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would deliver 120,000 122mm artillery shells before the end of the year. In addition to the already planned 155mm shells.

Secondly, the Czech President Petr Pavel announced just one day later that a total of 800,000 artillery shells, consisting of 300,000 122mm shells and 500,000 155mm shells, had been located outside the EU, which could be financed by other countries and delivered to Ukraine within a very short time.

A remarkable amount that will massively relieve the Ukrainian armed forces this year. After all, these artillery shells will be delivered in addition to the artillery shells previously planned by allied countries!

However, as Germany had only announced the delivery of 120,000 122mm artillery shells for this year just one day earlier — certainly an investment worth hundreds of millions — it was temporarily unclear whether and how much money the German government would contribute to the Czech initiative.

However, I personally never asked myself the first question. After all, government officials have always said that the industry is the limiting factor and that it is not down to money or political will. It was therefore crystal clear to me that we would also be investing a large amount of money here.

At today’s meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius announced a new military aid package worth around 500 million euros, which addresses precisely the need for artillery ammunition of the Ukrainian army.

The package includes 180,000 artillery shells, which are part of the Czech ammunition initiative. Deliveries are scheduled to begin as early as this summer, i.e. in approximately two to three months.

He did not disclose which type of ammunition is being financed by Germany, but it can be assumed that it is only the 155mm calibre, as government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit already announced on the 6th of March that 155mm ammunition was being targeted.

In addition, a further 100,000 155mm artillery shells have been ordered in Germany, the delivery of which is also scheduled to begin this year. To provide short-term assistance, 10,000 artillery shells from Bundeswehr stocks are also to be delivered to Ukraine. Minister Pistorius spoke of a delivery that would begin “almost immediately”.

Taken together, it can therefore be said that Germany will supply Ukraine with over 350,000 122 and 155 calibre shells bilaterally this year. A massive increase on the less than 40,000 rounds supplied last year.

However, there is actually further assistance that is part of this package. The German MoD writes on its website after the statement of Pistorius that it will also supply 100 protected infantry vehicles, 100 logistical vehicles, spare parts for weapon systems already delivered, and medical material to Ukraine.

Screenshot German MoD Website

It was not said exactly which vehicles were meant. However, I hope that at least the logistical vehicles are more HX81s, of which Germany has already delivered 90 to Ukraine.

These are heavy-duty tank transporters, which are A) urgently needed in Ukraine and B) are also photographed very regularly, which only proves that they are in constant use.

Interestingly, however, one thing does not match: The value of the package. Pistorius put this at around 500 million euros. Alone the 155 mm ammunition which is to be produced in Germany, i.e. the 100,000 shells, is likely to cost at least 350 million euros. I would therefore be genuinely interested in a breakdown of the costs.

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  • 19th of March 2024 — Added paragraphs about the additional vehicles, spare parts and medical material

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