The refrain from Ukraine to its Western allies has been the same since the war began: Give us weapons, and we will beat the Russians so that the rest of Europe can be safe.
But that refrain has grown more urgent in recent weeks as Ukrainian losses have mounted in the face of relentless Russian bombardment, and there is increasing frustration within Ukraine that the eloquent words of support by many in the West are not being matched with the urgency necessary to help a country under siege.
Ukraine’s deputy defense minister said on national television on Tuesday that the country had received only 10 percent of the weapons it says it needs to fight the Russian Army.
“No matter how hard Ukraine tries, no matter how professional our army is, without the help of Western partners, we will not be able to win this war,” said the minister, Anna Malyar. “We can’t wait very long because the situation is very complicated.”
The United States has provided more than $4.6 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since the start of the war in February, according to the State Department. But the 108 155-millimeter Howitzers and the handful of multiple rocket launch systems pledged by the United States — even when combined with the heavy weapons being sent by Britain, France, Poland and several other nations — are far short of what Ukraine says it now needs.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a leading adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, laid out in detail in recent days what he says the country needs — a wish list that includes 1,000 155-millimeter howitzers, 300 multiple launch rocket systems and 500 tanks.
“Being straightforward,” he wrote on Twitter, “to end the war we need heavy weapons parity.”
Military analysts have said the need for more weapons and ammunition is acute.
“Ukraine will not be able to win the war without very significant and sustained support from its foreign partners,” said Rochan Consulting, which tracks developments in the war. “Existing deliveries slow Russian forces down, but Ukraine’s requests are more far-reaching and include equipment that would allow Kyiv to take territories back.”
But even as the call for more weapons grows stronger, European leaders have expressed concern that giving Ukraine everything it wants could leave European stockpiles dangerously depleted. And Ukrainian military analysts have said the specific numbers are at the high end of what they could reasonably expect.
Serhiy Grabsky, a Ukrainian military analyst, told the Ukrainian news media that it was an axiom of military affairs that weapons were in short supply.
“Therefore, all these figures are media-informational in nature; I would not pay attention to them,” he said. “But the main thing is that our political leadership is aware of the importance of creating such reserves and complete rearmament of the Armed Forces according to NATO standards because our resources, which we have preserved and maintained since Soviet times, are objectively depleted.”