(CNN) — US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told CNN that the country believes the equipment and training it is providing to Ukraine will “change the dynamics of the war” against Russia and allow Ukrainian forces to “breach Russian defences.”
Austin added, in an interview with CNN’s Caitlan Collins: “We are training and equipping several brigades of mechanized infantry and artillery, and this is a very large potential, and therefore they will have the ability to penetrate Russian defenses, and I think that will create a different dynamic.”
The statements of the US Secretary of Defense come with the passage of a year since Russia started its war on Ukraine, and there is no end in sight to the war. The statements also came in the wake of a secret and surprising visit by US President Joe Biden to Kiev, which aimed to send a clear message to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Concerning the strength of the alliance between the United States and Ukraine.
Austin reaffirmed to CNN that the United States will remain committed to Ukraine for as long as possible, as stated by other American officials, including Biden.
The US Secretary said: “As long as Ukraine continues to carry out operations and work to restore its lands, we will be with them,” adding that “the international community will be with Ukraine as soon as the fighting stops.”
The United States and its allies have provided billions of dollars worth of ammunition, weapons, and training to the Ukrainians since the war began, and Washington alone has given Kiev $29.8 billion in aid, including such important items as Patriot missile systems and M1 Abrams tanks, though both require training and maintenance capabilities. big.
This “equipment is going to make a huge difference,” Austin said. Ukrainians are shaping this fight so that they can create opportunities for themselves and exploit them in the future.”
The US Secretary of Defense said in Brussels last week that the countries participating in the Ukraine Defense Contact Group are “working hard” to ensure that Ukraine has the capabilities it needs to create “the effects on the battlefield that they want to create”, especially in the expected “spring offensive” by Russia. .
Meanwhile, US officials have said that China could provide lethal military assistance to Russia. “He hasn’t seen China do it yet, but they certainly haven’t ruled it out,” Austin said. “I reached out to my Chinese counterpart early on, and I told him that would be a mistake.” Too bad, if China does this, it will complicate things.”
And the American minister suggested that the war would most likely end with some kind of negotiations, and said: “What matters to the Ukrainians is to remove the Russians from their lands, and I think this will most likely be their starting point, but I will let the Ukrainians speak for themselves.”
In recent months, the prospect of negotiations seemed unlikely as Russia continued to bomb Ukrainian infrastructure and population centres.