The head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin assessed that Ukraine has a good chance that its spring offensive will be successful. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, argued that the effectiveness of American military assistance to Ukraine is evidenced by the losses of over 200,000 Russian soldiers. Both spoke on Tuesday before the US Senate.
When asked during a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee whether Ukraine currently has an advantage over Russiathe head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin drew attention to the losses suffered by the Russian troops during the ongoing attacks in Donbass. – The Ukrainians (…) depleted their resources of armored vehicles in a way that no one could have imagined. That is why we now see that Russia is reaching for its own T-54 and T-55 tanks (…) this shows that their abilities are shrinking – he said and added that Russia also has problems with the availability of artillery ammunition.
– I think we will see an increase in the intensity of the fighting in the spring, when the conditions for maneuvering will improve. And based on the things we’ve done and continue to do, I think Ukraine has a really good chance of being successful.”
Milley: The Russians have well over 200,000 casualties
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who was at his side, stressed, answering senators’ questions about the effectiveness and control of weapons sent to Ukraine, that the best proof that US aid is used effectively are losses among Russian forces.
– This anti-tank ammunition, this artillery is having a devastating effect on the Russians. The Russians have well over 200,000 casualties, their offensive aspirations have practically stopped (…) it can be said that they absolutely impaled themselves on the Ukrainian bayonet, and this is largely the result of the resources they provided United States and other countries, ”said the general.
Answering questions about the possibility of the US transfer of MQ-9 Reaper fighters and drones, Austin and Milley emphasized that the main needs of Ukraine today are air defense systems, armored vehicles and long-range weapons, because these are the factors that will make the biggest difference on the battlefield in the shortest time. They assessed that large drones like the MQ-9 would not last long in the contested airspace and would perform worse than the smaller UAVs that the US is supplying.
Main photo source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine/Facebook