Ukraine weapons stocks risk running out 'in a week'

President Zelenskyy will address a Nato summit on Thursday

A Ukrainian fighter takes position in the eastern city of Kharkiv. EPA

Ukraine’s weapons stocks must be replenished within a week, Kyiv’s ambassador to the UK said as he urged Nato to offer more lethal support.

Vadym Prystaiko said urgent help was needed to ensure Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers have enough weaponry to repel Russian forces from cities.

He also called on the West to supply more long-range anti-tank weapons.

“We didn’t have enough in the first place. Running out of weaponry will be seen in the week to come,” the ambassador told Sky News.

Ukrainian soldiers stand in front of the Taras Shevchenko monument in Kharkiv. EPA / ANDRZEJ LANGE POLAND OUT

As they wait for more guns and missiles, the Ukrainians will “defend ourselves with everything we have and everything we are receiving” from abroad, Mr Prystaiko said.

“We are actually winning. We can win,” he said. “With [Britain’s] support, with your assistance, we can actually turn the tide.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said last week that the military had two weeks before it ran out of anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his cabinet on Wednesday that allies should go further in “providing further defensive military aid to Ukraine”.

“The prime minister paid tribute to the fierce resistance from the Ukrainian people in the face of the brutal and inhumane actions of Putin’s regime,” a representative for No 10 said.

“He said Putin’s actions had already crossed the threshold of barbarism and the West should not hesitate to go further in strengthening sanctions and providing further defensive military aid to Ukraine.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will take part online in a Nato summit on Thursday to discuss the war.

Details about his address have not been made public, but Mr Prystaiko said Mr Zelenskyy would rally Nato leaders to send more weapons, including bigger and longer-range missiles.

“We have enough weapons to stop tanks immediately when they approach us but we have to have something with much greater distance,” Mr Prystaiko said.

A Nato official said the address “will be an opportunity for allied leaders to hear directly from President Zelenskyy about the dire situation facing the people of Ukraine because of Russia's aggression.”

Negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow towards a peace settlement are continuing. Mr Zelenskyy this week renewed a request for a personal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss a ceasefire.

In the meantime, fighting around Kyiv, Mariupol and other major cities continues as the Russians try to capture them.

On Tuesday, Mr Zelenskyy said that an estimated 100,000 civilians remained in Mariupol, about a quarter of the prewar population.

Before war was declared, the city on the Sea of Azov was a beach resort that attracted families from across Ukraine.

Pictures showing some of the war’s worse devastation have now been circulated.

Those who left Mariupol described a shattered city.

“They bombed us for the past 20 days,” said Viktoria Totsen, 39, who fled to Poland.

“During the last five days, the planes were flying over us every five seconds and dropped bombs everywhere — on residential buildings, kindergartens, art schools, everywhere.”

The Red Cross said a humanitarian aid convoy trying to reach the city was not able to enter.

Updated: March 23, 2022, 1:43 PM
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