Pakistan has emerged as one of the most prominent supplier of ammunition to Ukraine forces who are engaged in war with Russia which began in February last year.
Much of the light armoured vehicles that the Russian forces have lost in the war, as per sources on the ground, have fallen to 12.7×99 MM armour piercing cartridges that are being supplied to the Ukrainian and other armed groups present in the region by Pakistan. Pakistan has also supplied ammunition for the field guns and howitzers that are being used by the combined Ukraine and NATO forces against Russia.
Sources said that apart from the ammunition for weapons that are intended to target tanks and machines, the military supply received from Pakistan includes 12.7×108 mm bullets that are used in heavy machine guns, 40 MM rounds that are used in rocket-propelled grenade launchers and ammunitions for multiple barrel rocket launcher systems. It has also dispatched 130 MM and 155 shells that are used in field guns.
Apart from these ammunition, the Pakistan government has sent 7.62×54mm bullets that are used in rifles and machine guns, which have been traditionally built in Russia.
At least 170 containers containing the above-mentioned ammunitions have been sent by Pakistan to Ukraine through sea route via Germany in the last few months. The nodal authority in this transfer is the Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom, sources have said.
These ammunition, the numbers of which are not known, are likely being sent by Islamabad under the arrangements done under United States of America led consortium, Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) which aims to provide military support to Ukraine. Reports from the ground have emerged that despite the support of NATO forces, Ukraine was facing difficulties as it was facing shortage of ammunition, which took time to be manufactured.
In what is also an example of the ironies at play in this conflict, while Pakistan is helping Ukraine in defeating the Russian army, China which is Pakistan’s all weather partner, is helping Russia to fight the NATO and Ukrainian forces.