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Ukraine has pleaded with its allies for ammunition and artillery “immediately”, warning it is running short of stocks to defend against a new Russian offensive that Kyiv fears is imminent.

The demand, by deputy prime minister Olha Stefanishyna, came on a day when Moscow launched ballistic missiles against Ukraine’s infrastructure. It also followed a tour of western capitals by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that emphasised longer-term supplies of fighter jets and heavy weaponry.

“What is of ultimate urgency is . . . the ammunition and the artillery that we need immediately to make sure that we can operate with the new military equipment we received,” Stefanishyna said in an interview with the Financial Times. “We do not have this amount of ammunition that we need.”

Kyiv is preparing for an imminent large-scale attack by Russian troops as the Kremlin attempts to seize more territory in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine ahead of the first anniversary of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion later this month.

Ukraine’s army is consuming ammunition at an unprecedented rate as it engages in punishing exchanges with Russia, prompting concerns about supplies.

Ukraine is estimated to be firing more than 5,000 artillery rounds every day — equal to a smaller European country’s orders in an entire year in peacetime. That rate of use has put huge strain on Europe’s defence producers, compounding supply chain challenges and increasing lead times for many munitions.

Stefanishyna, Zelenskyy’s top official for European integration, warned that the Russians were doing “everything possible to make the war continuous, lasting and exhausting”, adding that Moscow had the resources, ammunition and reserves to continue its campaign.

EU Council president Charles Michel on Friday said the bloc needed to “co-operate with the industrial sector and to ensure that we can speed up the level of production of ammunition”.

Russian strikes against Ukrainian cities and energy structure on Friday came as Moscow announced it would cut oil production in response to a price cap, the first sign it is seeking to weaponise oil supplies after slashing natural gas exports to Europe last year.

During the attack, Russian forces fired 71 cruise missiles, seven Iranian-supplied Shahed attack drones and 35 S-300 missiles, normally used for air defence, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, chief of Ukraine’s general staff, said on Twitter. Ukrainian air defences shot down 61 of the cruise missiles and five of the drones, he added.

One missile crossed over into Moldovan airspace. Natalia Gavrilita, Moldova’s prime minister, later resigned, a day after the country’s intelligence agency said Russia’s security services were seeking to undermine the former Soviet state.

In a further sign of the mounting international tensions, Alexander Novak, Russia’s chief negotiator with the Opec+ group of oil producers, said the country was cutting production by 500,000 barrels a day in response to the “destructive energy policy of the countries of the collective west”. This represents almost 5 per cent of Russia’s production.

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