Ukrainian servicemen of the 80th Independent Air Assault Brigade fire a Howitzer D-30 artillery weapon towards Russian troops near the frontline town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, February 24. REUTERS/Marko Djurica 

 El Pais: Ukraine outgunned 10 to 1 in massive artillery battle with Russia 

 Kyiv urgently requires ammunition as the Kremlin seeks a breakthrough on the eastern front, where Moscow is sending waves of infantry to deplete the defenders’ stocks of heavy shells 

The Ukraine war has become a ferocious battle dominated by artillery and Ukrainian forces are operating at a huge disadvantage: Russia has numerical superiority of 10 heavy guns to every one at the disposal of Kyiv. Furthermore, Ukraine is running low on ammunition and requires urgent supplies of shells, Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government has warned. 

On the Luhansk front, at one of the Ukrainian army’s advanced positions in the area around the occupied city of Kreminna where the fighting is particularly intense, an artillery brigade is busy tuning a TRF1 howitzer cannon installed amid their sodden trenches. They received the French 155mm gun a few months ago and it is proving key to repelling Russian troops. But as the war enters its second year, Kyiv is in desperate need of fresh materiel. “We need more; we need all the ammunition they can provide. And we need it now,” says Sergey, the brigade commander, anchored next to the cannon in the mud.  

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WNU editor: My father commanded an artillery unit in the Second World War. He always credited Soviet artillery as the reason why Germany was defeated on the Eastern front. And the stats back my father. In the last two years of that war, artillery strikes accounted for 70% of all combat casualties. I suspect the same thing is happening right now in the Russia – Ukraine war.