Trent Telenko Profile picture
Aug 15 41 tweets 12 min read
Alright folks, let's strap in for the most important logistical thread🧵of the Russo-Ukrainian War.

This thread is about how much artillery ammunition the Russian Army has left over from the Cold War and what shape it is in.

It's going to be a ride.
1/ Image
Lets start with what is know open source and the perils of Russian daily shell counts.

The Covert Cabal channel did an estimate of 10K shells a day and quoted a RUSI document saying 7,176 shells a day.

How Many Artillery Shells Does Russia Have Left?
Individual day shellfire rates vary a lot, & in early June, Ukraine was on the wrong end of a 45K to 1K or 2K shell ratio in Donbas per General Zaluzhny (Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - UNIAN)

And the ability of the NASA FIRMS sensor to accurately track shellfire was handicapped in Ukraine both by natural wildfires it is designed to track in the summer & Pres. Zelensky ordering flooding north of Kyiv during the Rasputitsa.

Fuzes fail in muck
Perun's channel also took a stab at the subject and I'm going to post some of his slides because they explain a lot of the granular numbers & issues involved.

"Outgunned" - Artillery & The War in Ukraine - Developments, lessons, & logistics
The biggest issues that Perun fleshed out were the issues of Russian artillery barrel life and a general lack of ability to replace barrels liners compared to 1991.

Just like most nations lack enough tires & artillery shells (Russia excepted) before a war.
6/ ImageImageImage
Every nation lacks enough facilities to rebore artillery barrels at anything approaching their wearing out rate.

The newest M777A2 155mm gun lasts 4,000 effective full charges.

(M777 barrel rifled bore in photo below)
7/ Image
Older M777 and newer Russian guns last 2,000 rounds.

According to Perun, older Soviet guns vary from 1000 to 1,500 EFC for their lifetime.

And no one knows how many EFC Russian frontline or "reserve" barrels had through them before the latest Russian invasion kicked off.
The Russians shooting 45,000 shells in a day means 22 and a half new guns are burned out at 2,000 EFC a barrel.

Suppose instead the average EFC rate left on available Russian barrels was 1,000.

That means 45 barrels are shot out.
Nadin Brzezinski's article in medium-dot- com says the following on that score:

"“The barrels wear out quickly, faster than the factory parameters, because either the steel is worthless, or they are made with a violation of technology.

...There is almost nothing to replace them now, because there are few new trunks. Near Lisichansk and Severodonetsk, at some point, one of the three guns worked for us. And it looks like it will get worse in the future,” says the Russian artilleryman."

This Russian artilleryman concern over sub-production standard barrels may explain some of the visuals we are seeing of exploded Russian guns in Ukraine.

The Russians shooting 45,000 shells in a day means 22 and a half new guns are burned out at 2,000 EFC a barrel.

Suppose instead the average EFC rate left on available Russian barrels was 1,000.

That means 45 barrels are shot a day.
One of the Cold War 'gray beards' I correspond with mentioned that a lot of the cited Russian 'strategic reserve' of military kit is mythological as they burned out barrel liners on tens of thousands of tank guns and artillery pieces during the Chechen wars and ended up with
...massive yards full of derelict armour and guns needing deep overhauls. Gun barrels were only part of this, there were lots of burned out engines, transmissions and wrecked suspensions.

14/ Image
So, what has all of this to do with Russian artillery ammunition storage?

In a word, context.

It turns out there are online open resources that give the world snapshots of the Soviet Union June 1989 & Russian 2013 ammunition storage and how badly degraded they are.

1st is this:

DATE: 07-18-2012
Warsaw Pact Ammunition Logistics in the Western Theater: Sustainability for Offensive Operations
An Intelligence Assessment
Top Secret
SOV 89-10057CX
June 1989…
This document gives a total artillery ammunition storage of 6 million metric tons of packaged ammunition allocated as follows:

3 million tons to the Western Theater,
1 million tons to the Southern Theater and
2 million to the Far Eastern Theater.

17/ Image
Remember, the CIA calculated this number via storage facility size & 1960's Warsaw Pact logistical documents.

It never knew what was actually inside these facilities.

Additionally, the Western Theater included east block nations shells.

The Western TMO Post-1989 territory missing from USSR vs current Russian storage capacity list (3 Million MT)

Warsaw Pact nations
East Germany


USSR Southern TMO Post-1989 territory missing from current Russian storage capacity list (1 Million Mt)


USSR Far Eastern TMO Post-1989 territory missing from current storage capacity list (2 Million Mt)


Just eyeballing the lists of states & independent territories missing from the 1989 Eastern bloc, about 3 million tons of USSR Artillery ammunition storage capacity is missing from the current Russian borders.

That is still a huge capacity and is twice what the USA had in
...1990 per General Gus Pagonis's memoir that was called "Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War"

He mentioned 1.6 million short tons of artillery ammo, of which he moved 600K tons to

...Saudi Arabia & returned 400k tons back.

The 2013 Russian snap shot comes from an article titled as follows:

"Russian Defence Ministry to Build 500 New Ammunition Depots" dated March 27, 2013.

In the early 2010's the world was having a huge problem with Cold War surplus Soviet manufactured ammunition.

It was blowing up...everywhere.

So in March 2013 Nikolay Parshin, the Head of the Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Defence Ministry, announced a program to build 500 climate controlled concrete
...bunkers to store 3.6 million tons of Russian ammunition, with 2.16 million tons to be disposed in 2013.

None of this happened.

All the money and materials were stolen and depot kept exploding.
As a part of the US State Department effort to deal with these 'death depots' surveys of ex-Soviet Stocks were looked at:

Significant Surpluses:
Weapons and Ammunition
Stockpiles in South-east Europe
Pierre Gobinet
28/… Image
And the American Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) established hazard criteria for Soviet and other ammunition world wide:

29/ Image
I've seen these criteria in my old DCMA job since by agency was charged with administering ammunition decommissioning contracts.

DTRA did it's job better, regards knowing the condition of Soviet ammo, than any other agency in the US National Security establishment.
I mentioned DTRA's work because that 2.16 million tons of Russian ammunition to be destroyed in 2013 - and never was - were all of the worst DTRA ammunition category.

And, BTW, that 3.6 million tons of 2013 Russian ammunition was for every service under the Russian MoD,
...Army, Navy, Aerospace Force (VKS) and Strategic Rocket Forces.

And 2.16 out of 3.6 million represents 60% of all Russian ammo for every service being too dangerous for Russians to use.

That was 9 years ago.
A lot of the other 40% of all Russian MoD ammo has aged to over 20 years, and Russia has fought a seven year artillery heavy war in Syria using up a lot of that stockpile.

Estimate of how much artillery ammunition used to destroy Syrian cities in that time are huge.
Since stated that Syria had ~750 mostly worn out 122mm guns when Russia intervened in 2015.

A thousand shells fired per gun per year put that at 5,250,000 122mm shells in seven years.

Russian's package two 122mm shells in a box weighing ~85 kg.

5,250,000 122mm shells is ~223,125 tons of packaged artillery ammunition for a Syrian 122mm gun park firing a little over three shells a day.

We have no clue - open source - as to how much artillery Russia provided to fight in Syria.

Nor do we know how much Russian ammo blew up before the latest Russian invasion kicked off.

The various error bars I've played with run from Russia had enough artillery ammo for
...another year to Russia ran out already.

For senior Russian military officers, Ukraine's @HIMARStime has been a blessing in helping cover up the extent of their corruption in building & maintaining the Russian artillery arm.

My gut feeling here - which is all I have because the available data simply won't confess - Russia has enough artillery ammunition for this war.

It won't be able to used what is left, nor be able to replace it.

And Russia without artillery shells for its Army isn't a great power

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More from @TrentTelenko

Oct 1
This is why the Russians fought so hard for Lyman.

Kreminna has no natural barriers to keep it from be flanked from the North.👇

Gee, it just so happens AFU is doing just that to get at and block the P66 highway supplying Kreminna from the north.

2/ Image
And gee again, there are not many Russian troops there to stop AFU from doing just that.

Read 5 tweets
Oct 1

There is a Bilgepumps episode in comparing the USN San Antonio class Amphib to this Taiwanese LPD.

If Taiwan's self defense fit is what is required to survive in the South China Sea.

Then the USN has a useless amphib
And the Taiwanese ship is a 5th rate while the San Antonio is unarmed on the Bilgepumps rating scale.

The San Antonio as an amphibious LCS design by Taiwan's SCS standards.

This passage from the Drive piece is absolutely lethal:

"At the same time, the fact that these kinds of weapons have been fitted in the Taiwanese LPD (in the case of the TC-2N) or at least considered (HF-2), likely reflects the assumption that any kind of conflict involving
Read 6 tweets
Sep 30
Translated from Spanish:

"Between #Torske and #Kreminna it has become a no man's land, there are likely to be Ukrainian reconnaissance and infiltration units around, making it a shooting gallery for anyone who crosses it."

The entire road out of Lyman is under Ukrainian drone observed artillery fire with MARS-M270 rocket delivered German AT-2 mines to pin Russian columns in the artillery kill jar.

It's all over for the Russian Lyman force, save for the details of its bloody annihilation.
2/5 ImageImage
Editor in Chief Censor.NЕТ Yurii Butusov has dropped this article on the tactical situation pertaining to Lyman.

"If Russian grouping in Lyman manages to be completely destroyed at withdrawal,

Read 5 tweets
Sep 29
We are seeing a Russian "Lanchester Square Collapse" in progress👇

This Lanchester curve was visible in the Russian truck fleet for a while.

Now the lack of Russian truck logistics is causing the Russian collapse...


...that is catching up with Russian field forces the way it caught up with Imperial Japanese air forces in the 1943 South Pacific.

Read 4 tweets
Sep 29

According to my position, chemical weapons were used. This is not a joke. Doctors say that the thing is not fatal, but it is difficult for the boys. Due to the castration of the "civilized" world, we will someday wait for the stars. I freaked out to be honest

Ru WMD 🧵
This is no surprise as the Russians have already used chemical weapons in Mariupol.

Russia used a spray-drone on the Azov Btn there as a part of their "Special Operation" because "Ukrainian Nazis deserved it."

Western defense analysts went into deep denial over that fact.
The DC De-escalation faction is making increased Russian WMD use inevitable by denying Ukraine the F-16's, ATACMS, M-1 Abrams tanks, & Bradley fighting vehicles it has been asking for to win quickly.

Read 12 tweets
Sep 29
AFU is using German MLRS rocket delivered anti-tank/anti-vehicle mines to block Russian vehicle movement on the last main supply road to Lyman at Torske in Eastern Ukraine.

This tweet gives you the visuals of the mine and the German MARS version of the M270 launcher which was used to deliver these rockets.

This is @wartranslated tweet on the transfer of these rocket delivered mines.

Read 11 tweets

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