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Vladimir Putin ‘is not preparing for peace’: NATO chief warns Europe is at risk of running out of ammunition to help Ukraine fight back with Russia ‘preparing for new offensives’

  • NATO chief warns Vladimir Putin preparing for ‘fresh offensives and new attacks’
  • Jens Stoltenberg told military alliance that West was running low on ammo 
  • He urged all 30 countries to step up deliveries to aid Ukraine’s ‘war of attrition’

The West risks running out of ammunition, Nato’s chief said yesterday, as he also warned Vladimir Putin is ‘preparing for more war’ in Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg told the 30 countries from the military alliance that they need to step up deliveries to ensure Ukraine can fight back against Russian aggression.

Ahead of a two-day meeting of Nato defence ministers in Brussels, the former Norwegian prime minister said: ‘This has become a grinding war of attrition and therefore it’s also a battle of logistics. This is a huge effort by allies to actually be able to get in the ammunition, the fuel, the spare parts, which are needed.’

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He added: ‘We see no signs that President Putin is preparing for peace. What we see is the opposite, he is preparing for more war, for new offensives and new attacks.’

Ukrainian officials say Moscow is plotting a much broader offensive on the eastern Donbas regions, but also fresh attacks on Kharkiv in the northeast and Zaporizhzhia in the country’s south-east. It comes after a British national died in Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg told the 30 countries from the military alliance that they need to step up deliveries to ensure Ukraine can fight back against Russian aggression

Jens Stoltenberg told the 30 countries from the military alliance that they need to step up deliveries to ensure Ukraine can fight back against Russian aggression

Ukrainian officials say Moscow is plotting a much broader offensive on the eastern Donbas regions, but also fresh attacks on Kharkiv in the northeast and Zaporizhzhia in the country¿s south-east. Pictured: Ukrainian soldier near the destroyed Retroville shopping centre

Ukrainian officials say Moscow is plotting a much broader offensive on the eastern Donbas regions, but also fresh attacks on Kharkiv in the northeast and Zaporizhzhia in the country’s south-east. Pictured: Ukrainian soldier near the destroyed Retroville shopping centre

The identity of the individual – the eighth UK citizen to die in the conflict – is not yet known, but their family has been informed, the Foreign Office said. 

Ukraine’s armed forces are firing some 6,000 artillery shells a day, far faster than their Western allies can resupply them. 

Russia is using as much as 20,000 rounds a day equivalent to what European factories can produce in a month. But there is yet no decision on supplying Western fighter jets to the Ukrainian military. 

Kyiv has demanded urgent air support that has been met with a mixed response from allies.

Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s defence minister, yesterday held up an image of a fighter jet when asked what he wanted from the meeting aimed at providing more weapons to the country.

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The US and the UK have ruled out handing jets for now, but Britain has announced a training programme for Ukrainian fighter pilots.

Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren said the Netherlands was taking Ukraine’s request for F-16 jets ‘very seriously’. Her Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak vowed ‘to apply pressure’ on fellow Western allies.

‘We are aware that our potential in this area is limited because we have only 48 F-16 aircraft, but the allies have much more potential, so I think that this conversation will end with positive decisions,’ he said.

Ukraine¿s armed forces are firing some 6,000 artillery shells a day, far faster than their Western allies can resupply them. Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers on patrol in Bakhmut

Ukraine’s armed forces are firing some 6,000 artillery shells a day, far faster than their Western allies can resupply them. Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers on patrol in Bakhmut

Russia is using as much as 20,000 rounds a day equivalent to what European factories can produce in a month. Pictured: Ammunition for a howitzer during training at a German army base

Russia is using as much as 20,000 rounds a day equivalent to what European factories can produce in a month. Pictured: Ammunition for a howitzer during training at a German army base

Mr Stoltenberg insisted that the topic of aircraft ‘is not the most urgent issue now, but it is an ongoing discussion’.

‘The urgent need now is to deliver what has already been promised. The armoured infantry fighting vehicles, and other battle tanks that have been pledged,’ he said.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said as many as 15 Nato countries have promised to send Ukraine battle tanks and 22 are set to provide infantry fighting vehicles. ‘The Kremlin is still betting that it can wait us out,’ he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky failed to receive any concrete pledges on jets during his tour of London, Paris, and Brussels last week.

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