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Russia and Ukraine are still at it. But Supplies are Dwindling.

By: Terrence Mower

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a offensive strike against the small country of Ukraine. It claimed to be “demilitarizing and denazifying” Ukraine, but it really was afraid that Ukraine would join NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, allowing NATO countries to creep ever closer towards Russia. Since then, 200,000 have died fighting or in bombings, and Ukrainian infrastructure has been reduced to rubble.

While Ukraine has pushed back, military stockpiles have been virtually emptied in Europe, mostly as a result of a peace dividend that drastically reduced the amount of public funding spent on weapons manufacturing. European countries weren’t expecting another war to ever happen, so when Russia suddenly struck, NATO forces were less than prepared. As a result, warehouses across Europe in NATO countries were either abandoned or emptied and recycled.

Military equipment like anti-tank missiles and artillery have nearly run out and US’s rate of production has yet to match demand. Ukraine launches over 3,000 artillery shells per day, but the US only produces 15,000 per month. A handheld-missile system costs around $175,000 to produce, and replacement missiles total over $80,000 themselves. Understandably, budgets have underestimated the obscene cost of war.

Weapons stockpiles have gotten so low, in fact, that the US and others have been sending out weaponry that dates back as far as the Soviet era. Already, billions have been spent supplying Ukraine with vital weapons to counter Russian invaders. But as of now, supply lines have been running low and there looks to be no solution in sight.

But it’s not just Ukraine’s allies that are low on ammo. A recent press release revealed that Russia used up most of its precision-guided missiles and is now switching to less accurate, non-system-guided missiles in Ukraine. With Russia firing 40,000 - 50,000 artillery shells every day, they are nearing the end of the line when it comes to air defense. Especially with heavy tariffs imposed on Russia, acquiring materials to construct new weapons has proven difficult for Putin. In the face of failure, the Kremlin is doing whatever it can to repel defenders and gain more land.

As modern technology has been introduced to the battlefield, countries are witnessing the true cost of war. Over $1 trillion has been spent assisting Ukraine and hundreds of thousands have perished. And as the invasion has come to a stalemate, the two countries have been using up more and more of their precious resources. The war has become a game of “who will run out of ammo first?” than anything else. And after almost a year of fighting has passed, no clear victor has been decided.

How much longer will this go on? And how much will be lost?

Hi Terrence! You are tackling a very very complicated topic here! Seriously, well done. It is so hard to write about a world-wide tangle of a situation in one short article. I think you have done an excellent job focusing on missiles as a way to tie the topic together.

That said, this article does become a little bit complicated. I think you might want to restructure this. Right now, all the information seems to be a little jumbled together. See if you can divide it up. For instance, talking about Ukraine in one paragraph, America in another paragraph, and other allies in another.

You also need to add something into the beginning of your article. As you wrote, the war has been going on for a while. Hundreds of news articles are written about it each day. What has happened that is new and important?

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