In shock Kyiv cease, Austin affords Ukraine assist, $100 million in navy {hardware}

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin didn’t come empty-handed throughout his unannounced go to to Kyiv on Monday, the place he sought to bolster Ukrainian resolve as its counteroffensive in opposition to Russian invaders seems to have stalled in its tracks.

After touring in a single day by practice from Poland, Mr. Austin mentioned he got here to Ukraine with the message that the United States will proceed to face with Kyiv now and sooner or later. Along with phrases of encouragement, he introduced a $100 million cache of navy {hardware} drawn from U.S. navy stockpiles.

The journey, solely Mr. Austin’s second to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022, comes amid rising concern in Ukraine that the Israel-Hamas struggle within the Middle East has distracted the U.S. and its allies from the struggle in opposition to Russia and will pressure navy provide chains wanted to maintain Ukrainian forces within the subject.

“We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements,” Mr. Austin mentioned Monday on social media.

The navy {hardware} introduced for Ukraine consists of M142 HIMARS techniques, together with extra rockets; 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds; anti-tank weapons, demolitions, and greater than three million rounds of small arms ammunition, officers mentioned Monday.

The Biden administration has already offered greater than $44 billion — and allies have despatched a further $35 billion — in navy help that vary from thousands and thousands of bullets to air protection techniques, superior European and U.S. battle tanks and, now, F-16 fighter jets.

SEE ALSO: Defense Secretary Austin arrives in Kyiv to precise solidarity with Ukraine as struggle rages on

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned his assembly with Secretary Austin went effectively. Both sides mentioned a variety of points, particularly the present battlefield state of affairs, he mentioned.

“We also discussed Ukraine’s actions on the Black Sea and the defense of our export corridor,” Mr. Zelenskyy mentioned. “Freedom of navigation is a fundamental principle for the world, and Ukraine has proven it can secure it and drive the aggressor away.”

Mr. Austin mentioned Ukraine’s troopers are ready to proceed their struggle in opposition to Russia even because the winter season quickly approaches. He mentioned cold-weather gear is included within the navy provides coming to Ukraine.

“They have the means that they’ll need to be successful in fighting in the wintertime,” he mentioned. “The right thing to do is to continue to press the fight and take the fight to the enemy.”

However, Ukraine’s high commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, was extra pessimistic in a extensively cited Nov. 1 interview in The Economist. He mentioned the combating in Ukraine reminds him of the bloody battlefields of World War I and mentioned it will take a rare technological leap to interrupt the deadlock with dug-in Russian occupying forces in Ukraine’s south and east.

“Just like in the First World War, we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate,” Gen. Zaluzhny mentioned. “There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough.”

Helping Ukraine defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin on the battlefield advances U.S. nationwide safety pursuits. What occurs there issues to your entire world, Mr. Austin mentioned.

“This is about the rules-based international order. This is about not living in a world where a dictator can wake up one day and decide to annex the property of his peaceful neighbor,” he mentioned. “That is not the world we want to live in.”

Ukraine’s troopers have confirmed to be fast research and have acquitted themselves on the battlefield when given cutting-edge Western weaponry. Mr. Austin mentioned they’ll proceed to deal with the first goal of eradicating Russian forces from Ukraine.

“They’ve learned a lot [and] I think they’ll continue to learn,” Mr. Austin mentioned. “But this is dynamic. As they learn and make adjustments, the enemy learns and makes adjustments.”

The protection secretary insisted there stays robust bipartisan assist on Capitol Hill to again Ukraine, whilst a rising faction of largely conservative lawmakers have begun to query U.S. ranges of assist for Kyiv. He mentioned members of Congress who’re hesitant about persevering with to fund Ukraine’s struggle have “valid questions” and pledged they are going to be answered.

But a White House request to authorize one other $61 billion in safety and financial help to Ukraine faces an unsure future on Capitol Hill.

Ukraine’s military is a learning organization. It will continue to learn from all of its operations to this point,” Mr. Austin mentioned. “We said it will be a tough fight. It’s a grinding fight and I think we will continue to see that in the future.”

Later this week, Mr. Austin will host the most recent digital assembly of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group from the Pentagon. Defense Department officers mentioned about 50 nations are anticipated to take part within the discussions to chart the standing of Ukraine’s struggle.