Artillery shells left in the abandoned positions of the Russian army near Kherson reveal an interesting trend – some of these projectiles seem to be produced in 2022.
For now, it is a bit too early to draw far-reaching conclusions based on this sole fact. In theory, this could mean that the Russian military has already exhausted its reserves of old ammunition and has transitioned to newly-manufactured projectiles. But this is just a theoretical assumption.
This particular 152mm-caliber shell was found in the former Russian positions. The marking on the cartridge says “8-22-3P”, which denotes a batch number, year of manufacture, and base number. This means that the projectile was produced in 2022.
In standard military practice, old ammunition is used first. Of course, non-standard situations are possible. For example, some newer weapons could be delivered first due to disruptions in logistics, or in order to ensure faster delivery from a closer warehouse. Previously, Russian forces were reported to use certain experimental vehicles, but this was not associated with the decline of its military reserves.
Back in October, Ukrainian Armed Forces published a photo of a 122-mm shell, which was also made in 2022.
As Defense Express writes, we cannot make any specific conclusions based on these two cases. It is important to remember that despite reduced manufacturing capacity, Russia still retains capabilities to produce weapons and ammunition. Additional supplies could be received from external sources, for example, North Korea or Iran.