Russia will likely maintain sufficient intensity of artillery fire on the Ukraine front in 2024, albeit at a relatively lower level than in 2022, according to analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
“Russia’s domestic production of artillery shells, supplemented by increased ammunition imports from North Korea, will likely allow Russian forces to sustain sufficient rates of artillery fire in Ukraine in 2024, albeit at a relatively lower level than during 2022,” ISW said in a report published on its official website on Tuesday.
The Institute analysts refer to data provided by Estonian Defense Forces Intelligence Center Head Colonel Ants Kiviselg who stated that Russia still has around four million artillery shells remaining, which Russian forces can use for “low intensity” warfare for an additional year. At the same time, Kiviselg noted that there are reports that North Korea has shipped up to 1,000 containers of ammunition to Russia, each containing between 300-500 pieces of artillery ammunition.
Kiviselg estimated that North Korea may have therefore provided between 300,000-500,000 pieces of ammunition to Russia, which can last up to one month at the current daily rate of consumption of around 10,000 shells a day. Ukrainian military analyst Colonel Petro Chernyk reported on October 23 that Russian forces are currently firing between 10,000-15,000 shells a day, significantly lower than rates of fire in summer 2022 of 45,000-80,000 shells per day.
“Western sources and satellite imagery have confirmed that North Korean deliveries, likely mostly comprised of artillery shells, have drastically increased … and North Korea is likely to provide further deliveries,” the ISW notes.
Therefore, the ISW concludes that “the degree to which Ukraine’s international partners sustain Ukraine’s ability to sustain an effective weight of fire relative to Russian forces will be a key determiner of respective capabilities in 2024.”