Since the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the two sides have been engaged in warfare for over 600 days. Despite the concerted efforts of NATO countries to manufacture weapons for Ukraine, they appear to be largely ineffective against Russia’s military might. Even the United States, a global superpower capable of producing 24,000 155mm caliber shells each month, struggles to meet the Ukrainian military’s demands in the short term.
Several months ago, the disparity in Ukraine’s munitions supply became evident. The Ukrainian military consumes over 10,000 shells daily, while Russia’s munitions supply has remained stable, producing around 70,000 shells every day for a year and a half. Furthermore, Russia has been relentlessly bombing one front for five consecutive days and nights. This includes the use of Iskander ballistic missiles and multiple deployments of their strategic bomber aircraft to target Kyiv and Ukrainian ammunition depots, significantly demoralizing the Ukrainian forces.
This raises the question: who is supporting Russia’s extensive munitions supply, and why can’t dozens of Western and American nations collectively exhaust Russia? One factor is that Russia inherited 70% of the Soviet Union’s military industry, enabling rapid refurbishment and upgrading of its armed forces.
Additionally, during World War II, the Soviet Union produced a large quantity of armaments, manufacturing over 30,000 artillery pieces in 1941 alone, which dealt devastating blows to the enemy.
Western media reports that Russia produces two million shells annually, which is seven times more than Western countries. Through economic cooperation with several major powers, Russia has garnered sufficient financial resources to maintain high-intensity military production without reliance on other countries.
In 2022, trade between China and Russia exceeded 190 billion USD. Despite NATO’s full efforts on the Ukraine issue, they seem to be struggling against Russia’s formidable arsenal. If the conflict continues, Ukraine is likely to suffer even greater losses.