Unlike the Ukrainian forces, who are motivated to fight for their country, for their freedom, democracy and way of life, the Russians lack the proper leadership, will and discipline to continue this war, he said on Friday after a meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine Support General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, announced that the training of the Ukrainians on Abrams tanks would begin in a few weeks.
On Friday, at the NATO base in Ramstein, another meeting was held at the level of defense ministers of about 40 countries that provide arms to Ukraine in repelling Russian aggression. This is the eleventh meeting of the contact group for defense support to Ukraine, a year has passed since its creation.
The conference was devoted to assessing the current military situation in Ukraine, discussing the scale of support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as well as plans and new military opportunities in this regard.
Austin on training Ukrainians on Abrams
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during the conference after the group meeting, he announced that “we have accelerated the delivery schedules of our M1 Abrams to provide Ukraine with armored capabilities in the coming months.” – And those M1s that the Ukrainians will use for training will come here to German over the next few weeks, he added.
As he added, over the past few months, the countries of the contact group have sent Ukraine more than 230 tanks and more than 1.5 thousand. armored vehicles, incl. for the needs of the nine Ukrainian armored brigades being created.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, appearing next to Austin, added that the tanks that will be delivered to Germany in May will be training vehicles, and only later will machines intended for fighting in Ukraine be sent.
Milley also added that at the moment 2.5 thousand people are being trained in Germany. Ukrainian soldiers, and 8.8 thousand have already undergone training. As he noted, in addition to the training program for newly created Ukrainian units, 65 Ukrainian soldiers have recently completed training in the use of Patriot systems.
Milley said the coalition’s goal was to train and equip nine armored brigades to “conduct either offensive or defensive operations.”
– These brigades are trained, equipped and prepared for combat operations. So whenever and wherever Ukraine decides to use them, we will continue to support them. And I am very confident in their ability to succeed.
Milley: Russia invests huge resources with very little gain
Milley also spoke about the situation at the front. – The fighting around Bakhmut has been going on for several months now. Russia at the moment he invests huge resources, gaining very little from it. (…) He is paying very dearly for the war he unleashed, he said.
– Unlike the Ukrainian forces, who are motivated to fight for their country, for their freedom, democracy and way of life, the Russians lack the proper leadership, will and discipline to continue this war. Russia has returned to the coercion of its citizens, who are being thrown into the chaos of this war and so far lack the coordination and ability to conduct operations on the battlefield, he added.
– Russia still has not achieved its strategic goals. It failed to take Kiev, did not overthrow the Ukrainian government, did not break the unity of NATO. The truth is that they have achieved quite the opposite – Kiev stands, Ukrainians are more courageous, and NATO has never been stronger, he assured.
Austin: We reject Putin’s efforts
Previously the boss Pentagon Lloyd Austin, at the beginning of the contact group meeting, announced that “at the meeting with NATO allies, we will focus on anti-aircraft defense, ammunition for Ukraine.”
“We reject Putin’s efforts to create a sphere of influence at gunpoint,” he added, emphasizing that United States will support Ukraine as long as necessary.
As reported by the Associated Press, Austin tried on Friday to quell any possible disagreements between the United States and its allies over the massive leak of secret US documents to the media. They contained intelligence information about the war between Russia and Ukraine.
“I take this issue very seriously,” Austin said, adding that he was struck by the solidarity of allies in the face of the leaked documents.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/RONALD WITTEK