Roman Kostenko, Secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, explained during an interview with Radio NV on Oct. 27 why it is impossible to quickly increase the global production of ammunition.
"Any ammunition can be made, more or less, but to make it fly, of course, you need gunpowder," Kostenko said.
“Gunpowder is used almost everywhere. And you need different types of gunpowder, for tank and artillery shells, for small arms.”
Ammunition factories in Bulgaria and other European countries are completely dependent on gunpowder supplies from China or other countries, while in Ukraine, over the 30 years of independence, gunpowder production facilities have been "lost", the lawmaker said.
Before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, companies that produced hexogen or TNT were not profitable enough.
"Hexogen cost $10, and it was not ordered a lot because it was needed to make shells, and shells were usually produced a lot after World War II, for a certain period," Kostenko said.
“The firing ranges fired 10,000 or 15,000 in a year, so they were produced and stocks were constantly accumulated. Now, I would say that the problem is much deeper, the needs are much greater, and a lot of shells are used. And the prices, the market economy, have risen now – I don't know – hexogen is up to $100. And it is no longer possible to buy production at all, as everyone says, get it from us, buy it’.”
It takes up to a year of time and resources to launch the production of gunpowder, explosives, and shells, according to Kostenko.
On Oct. 26, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that the European Union has so far delivered only 300,000 artillery rounds out of the promised 1 million, while North Korea has provided more to Russia.
The head of Estonia's military intelligence, Colonel Ants Kiviselg, said that Russia has about 4 million artillery shells, which is enough to conduct low-intensity combat operations in Ukraine for another year.
The media reported that Pyongyang was handing over artillery shells and Katyusha rockets to Moscow.
On Oct. 13, the White House said that North Korea had transported up to 1,000 containers of "equipment and munitions to Russia in recent weeks."
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