Western artillery a ‘game-changer’ on Ukraine’s battlefield — Defense Minister Reznikov

18 April, 03:00 PM
Ukrainian military personnel fire from an M777 howitzer in the Kharkiv region (Photo:REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova)

Ukrainian military personnel fire from an M777 howitzer in the Kharkiv region (Photo:REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova)

The Western-made 155mm artillery has been a game changer on the battlefield in Ukraine, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in an interview with ICTV on April 18.

Without the assistance of Ukraine’s partners, the country would have been forced to use small arms and guerrilla tactics this summer.

The minister recalled his first meeting of the Ramstein format and noted that he was impressed by the speeches of Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, Mark Milley, who were “very charged up for Ukraine’s victory.”

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Reznikov recalls thinking that at that time Ukraine could not even imagine the progress the country would make in weapons supply.

“The game changer on the battlefield was the provision of 155mm artillery, which happened in May after the April Ramstein meeting. The Americans made a decision and gave us the 155mm — M777, which our guys call ‘three axes’,” said Reznikov.

Reznikov said that Ukraine received only 24 shells for the first two HIMARS installations because the allies wanted to assess how effective their use by Ukraine’s Defense Forces would be. Differing from the Soviet-style approach of “pouring”, the HIMARS approach is akin to using a scalpel, making a precise incision in the most pressing place.

The next meeting of the Contact Group on Defense Issues of Ukraine will take place on April 21 at the Ramstein Air Base. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Ukraine expects “thorough decisions” from the upcoming Ramstein meeting that align with battlefield realities.

The first Ramstein meeting took place on April 26, 2022.

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