Ukraine is promised 1 million drones within a year

Ukraine is promised 1 million drones within a year

A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a first person view (FPV) drone provided by the Come Back Alive foundation to the one of Ukrainian Airborne Brigades, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb 14, 2024. (Photo: Reuters)
A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a first person view (FPV) drone provided by the Come Back Alive foundation to the one of Ukrainian Airborne Brigades, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb 14, 2024. (Photo: Reuters)

KYIV - A coalition of allies aims to deliver 1 million drones to Ukraine within a year, as the country struggles to cope with ammunition shortages and a funding fight in Washington.

"The primary task at the moment is to supply Ukraine with these very necessary technologies, also to tilt the balance, especially in the context when there are still some shortages of ammunition," Andris Spruds, Latvia's Defense Minister, said in an interview in Brussels on Thursday.

A Latvia-led group of about 10 countries aims to supply the drones by Feb 24, 2025, the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The invasion is not just a conflict between Ukraine and Russia but also a clash involving competing defence industries, Spruds said.

The pledge from allies including the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands comes as the European Union (EU) delayed by several months its promise to deliver 1 million artillery rounds to Kyiv by March. In Washington, a United States aid package is blocked in a standoff in Congress. 

The Kremlin has about three to four times more artillery than Ukrainian forces after boosting its ammunition production to as many as 4 million units last year, up from 600,000 rounds in 2022, Estonia’s Foreign Intelligence Service said this week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appointed Saturday a new deputy to top general Oleksandr Syrskyi who will oversee unmanned combat systems and drones — the sphere which the president and his recently-appointed commander have identified as a key priority.

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