Defense Secretary says Putin has “has probably given up” on taking Kyiv

The world was shocked earlier this year when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade neighboring Ukraine.

Yet despite commanding a significantly larger military, top U.S. officials say the dictator has been forced to give up some of his objectives.  

According to Defense News, that was the assessment presented during a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting on Thursday by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milly.

Defense Secretary says Putin “has probably given up” plans to take Ukraine’s capital

“Putin thought he could really rapidly take over the country of Ukraine, very rapidly take over the capital city; he was wrong,” Austin was quoted as telling the committee members.

“I think Putin has probably given up on his effort to capture the capital city and is now focused on the south and east of the country,” he continued.

The defense secretary went on to stress that the United States is focused on continuing to arm Ukraine in support of that country’s resistance.

Defense News noted that Ukrainian fighters have thus far made good use of Western-supplied weapon systems, including Stinger and Javelin missiles.

For his part, Milley explained that America and allied nations have equipped Ukraine with some 60,000 anti-tank weapons along with another 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons, the first time that such tallies have been made public.

U.S. attempting to provide Ukraine with more armor and artillery

One complicating factor in supplying Ukraine is that its soldiers would need significant training in order to effectively use U.S. armored vehicles and artillery.

As a result, efforts are being made to instead provide the sort of Soviet-style equipment that Ukrainian personnel are already familiar with and trained to use.

“We are looking around along with other countries in NATO to help them out in terms of building them up in terms of armor and artillery,” the Army general explained, adding that the need for such assets has grown.

“The fight in the southeast is different from the north, it is much more open and lends itself to armor, mechanized operations, offensive operations on both sides,” Milley pointed out.

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