At a gathering of world military leaders in Germany, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin struck a defiant tone on Russia saying Vladimir Putin “never imagined that the world would rally behind Ukraine so swiftly and surely.”
He also asserted “Ukraine clearly believes it can win, and so does everyone here.” It’s quite a remarkable assessment two months into a war Putin believed would be over in a couple of days. Watch his remarks below.
The Washington Post adds:
Senior defense officials from NATO and non-NATO countries attended the meeting, part of the new Ukraine Defense Consultative Group. Some nations, such as Israel and Qatar, had representatives at the table, although they were not included on the official list of attendees. The inclusion of non-NATO countries such as Kenya, Tunisia and Japan was part of an effort to extend substantive and symbolic support for Ukraine beyond Europe and the alliance.The Washington Post
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff added a more somber note as Russia advances in eastern and southern Ukraine saying “Time is not on Ukraine’s side. The outcome of this battle, right here, today, is dependent on the people in this room.”
Austin said yesterday after meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky that Russia is failing and Ukraine is succeeding. He raised eyebrows when he added the U.S. wants to see Ukraine remain a sovereign, democratic country, it also wants “to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”