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US Transfers 1.1 Million Iranian-Seized Bullets to Ukraine Amid Ammunition Shortage

The US has supplied Ukraine with approximately 1.1 million rounds of ammunition, initially seized from Iran in December last year, to aid in its ongoing conflict with Russia. The US Central Command (Centcom) revealed that the ammunition, confiscated from a ship en route to Yemen, was transferred to Ukraine as its Western allies expressed concerns about their ability to keep up with Ukraine’s ammunition consumption rate. The rounds, which are of 7.62mm caliber, are compatible with Soviet-era rifles and light machine guns commonly used in the region. While the supply is substantial, it is but a fraction of the over 200 million bullets and grenades the US has previously provided to Ukraine. The ammunition was initially seized from the stateless ship MARWAN 1 and was legally claimed by the US government in July through civil forfeiture against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The backdrop of this transfer is the ongoing civil war in Yemen, where Iran has been supporting the Houthi rebels. This act of supplying arms is prohibited under a 2015 UN Security Council resolution. Amid the convoluted geopolitics, concerns about the West’s ability to continue arming Ukraine have grown, accentuated by declarations from NATO representatives about the visible "bottom of the barrel." So, What Does This Mean? The transfer of these rounds to Ukraine underscores the complex and intertwined nature of global conflicts and alliances. While the ammunition aids Ukraine, it also highlights the limitations Western allies are facing in continuously supporting Kyiv, due to both logistical and political constraints. This development may raise further questions about the sustainability of Western military support to Ukraine and could prompt broader international discussions on conflict funding, arms provision, and geopolitical alliances. The use of seized Iranian ammunition might potentially bring Iran's role in regional conflicts, including its support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen and alleged arms supply to Russia, into sharper focus. The situation highlights the intricate web of international relations and conflicts, where actions in one region, like the Middle East, can have direct impacts on conflicts in another, such as Eastern Europe. For Ukraine, the infusion of ammunition, although not substantial, provides a temporary buffer but also serves as a reminder of the impending challenges should Western allies reach their limits in military aid provision. Furthermore, the complex legal and ethical dimensions of using ammunition seized from Iran, amidst its banned arms transfers and broader geopolitical stance, may prompt debates within international legal and diplomatic circles. The intertwining of these global events underscores the multifaceted challenges that nations face in navigating international law, ethics, and security in an increasingly complex world stage.

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Unknown member
Oct 06, 2023

If the Ukrainians were in an battle front that only required 1 shot, 1 kill, those rounds would last a long time. From the videos I've seen, they lay down a lot of suppressive fire. I'd guess they can go through 1.1 million rounds in a matter of days, maybe weeks. Note that I have zero knowledge or experience in regards to this so I'm just guessing.

The ammo to be provided is 7.62 x 39, the round for an AK47. The rifles I see Ukrainian troops use are AK74, not the older AK47. The AK74 uses 5.45 x 39 rounds. The rounds aren't interchangable. But there has to be AK47 rifles in use somwhere in the Ukrainian military so…


Unknown member
Oct 05, 2023

How often does Ukraine go through 1.1m rounds of ammunition I wonder?

Unknown member
Oct 16, 2023
Replying to

If only the US provided 200M rounds and they still have som ammunition left after 600 days of war 1,1 M rounds should cover at least 3 days of average combat ammunition usage. Much is naturally uncertain basing an estimate on just one number and this one including other type of ammunition and not taking other countries contributions in to account But at least it gives you a ballpark answer.

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