close Ukraine to miss key goal before winter: Report Video

Ukraine to miss key goal before winter: Report

Fox News chief national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports that Pentagon officials are ‘dismissive’ of the Washington Post report, but ‘admit’ the counteroffensive is ‘slow-going.’

Ukrainians are reportedly ramping up domestic arms production through the private sector in anticipation of former President Donald Trump reducing U.S. support if he returns to office. 

As Ukraine’s defense ministry and state arms sector have come under fire for corruption and lack of inefficiency in recent years, Politico reports how the country’s private arms sector has exploded – and with it, the production of homegrown Ukrainian weapons such as Beaver drones, the Shark, Leleka and Valkyrie. 

With the possibility of Trump, the current GOP presidential front-runner, returning to office after the 2024 election, Ukrainians are preparing for reduced weapons supplies from the U.S., according to the outlet. More than 100 companies are among the Ukrainian arms producers actively working to acquire mostly Chinese-made drone parts from middlemen or third countries, as Beijing has said it halted all direct sales of the weapons to both Kyiv and Moscow’s forces.  

“For the Russians, it was always easier to get [the Chinese products] in the never-ending race. So, when I hear Ukrainians managed to snatch up 10,000 components for… drones from Russians, I am happy,” Serhiy Prytula, who runs a foundation supporting arms production for Ukraine, told Politico. “The defense ministry also can’t buy [drones] that are not in serial production yet. But we can, and the producers can reinvest the money to increase the number, if soldiers’ feedback from the front was good. So, by donating money people are not only helping the army, but also stimulating domestic military production.”


Captured Russian tank seen in Ukraine garage

A captured Russian T-62 tank is transformed into a Ukrainian Brem armored recovery vehicle on Feb. 13, 2023, at a warehouse in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian crowdfunding organization Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation funds the facility, which refurbishes tanks and armored vehicles captured on the battlefield. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Prytula has reportedly raised $135 million, used to buy more than 7,000 drones, 1,200 vehicles, over 17,000 communication devices and other materials.

Serhiy Prytula sits for an interview from his office in Kyiv

Serhiy Prytula, a former stand-up comedian whose crowdfunding campaigns for the Ukrainian military have made him a national hero, talks with AFP journalists in front of “war trophies, gifted by Ukrainian soldiers” in Kyiv on Aug. 4, 2023. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)

“The task of the state today is to provide heavy equipment,” Prytula said. “Without help, the state cannot provide all the needs of each army unit. Charitable foundations work in close connection with the ministry of defense and other structures.”


Ukrainian tanks

A Ukrainian soldier speaks during an AFP interview in front of a homemade four-tube multiple rocket launcher on Sept. 28, 2022. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)

Maksym Polyvianyi, acting director of the National Association of Ukrainian Defense Industries, told Politico that the 2014 annexation of Crimea – and the February 2022 full-scale Russian invasion – has impacted the Ukrainian state industrial complex. 

“As of 2022, Ukrainian armed forces buy up to 70% of defense products from private military companies,” Polyvianyi said.


As Russian forces have targeted Ukrainian defense producers with bombings, the country has attempted to spread out arms production or relocate to western Ukraine. So far, production has increased, but Ukraine remains dependent on assistance from allies.

“In seven months of 2023, we made 10 times more artillery and mortar ammo than in the entire 2022. But we are still very far from what we need,” Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ukraine’s strategic industries minister, told Politico. “Today we have a war of such a scale that the entire capacity of the free world is not enough to support our consumption. We definitely cannot do this without help.”

Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @danimwallace. 

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