Drone use on the Ukraine battlefield: will the war see the first use of truly autonomous 'killer robots' like AI-programmed drones?


  • A Ukrainian soldier said they are now running out of artillery shells to use in the war
  • The soldier said donations from the West are not enough to cover what they need for the war
  • The US previously assessed that Ukraine's medium-rage air defenses will be completely reduced by May

Ukraine is now running out of artillery shells amid their 14-month-long war against Russia, a Ukrainian soldier revealed.

Speaking in an interview with The Daily Beast, Oleg, a Ukrainian sergeant with the Armed Forces of Ukraine's drone unit, noted that even donations from Kyiv's Western allies are not enough to cover what they need to fight against Russian forces.

"Our biggest problem is that we are running out of artillery shells... To stop them [Russia], we must constantly work, work, work, and work. Grenades don't last forever. We cannot work as intensively as we would like," he told the outlet.

"We either win, or we die. We have no other choice. Our people here are ready to die. We only want to win."

Petro, the leader of the Ukrainian drone unit, also warned that Russia's troops are beginning to adapt to Kyiv's tactics.

"They adapt. They are starting to think about how to fight better. They learn from their problems and mistakes," Petro told The Daily Beast.

Oleg and Petro's comments are similar to assessments made by the U.S. in classified Pentagon materials leaked earlier this month. In that assessment, Washington warned that Ukraine's medium-range air defenses will be "completely reduced by May 23," thereby decreasing Kyiv's ability to launch counteroffensives on the ground. Ukraine uses medium-range air defenses to protect its soldiers in combat zones.

Despite this, the U.S. previously noted that Russia is also "going backwards" with the equipment it is using in the war, noting that they have seen Moscow deploy World War II-era tanks, including T-54 and T-55 tanks, in an effort to replenish their stocks after losing many in combat.

"If anything, the equipment they [the Russians] are using is older generation," Western officials said, as quoted by CNN.

"They started with the T-80 and T-90 [tanks], went down to T-72, and indeed, we saw the first T-55s rolled out of the refurbishment to be put into battle and the same picture across artillery pieces as well."

Russia is also struggling with manpower. While the Russian Defense Ministry has so far refused to release an official military death toll, estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine put Moscow's military death toll at 183,130 as of Tuesday. The figure includes 470 soldiers killed over the past day.

Ukrainian soldiers fighting the Russian invasion on the eastern front pictured in January 2023