MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that there is no weapon that will become a magic wand for the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). In his opinion, Kyiv faces an exhausting struggle.
“In a conflict like this, there is no weapon that can be a magic wand,” Austin said at a news conference in Kyiv following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Chapter words Pentagon cited by the publication “Country”.
According to Austin, everything depends on how Ukraine uses the weapons provided by the West. “It all depends on the provided [Киеву] military capabilities and their combination with other available weapons, whether we are talking about F-16 fighters, HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems or something else. It all depends on how you use these capabilities and synchronize them to achieve the desired effect on the battlefield. This is a tough, exhausting fight, and it will continue to be so in the future,” he added.
Austin visited Kyiv on November 20, where, in particular, he met with Zelensky and Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov. Later, the head of the Pentagon announced the allocation of a new aid package to Kyiv worth $100 million.
Ukrainian authorities often make attempts to justify the failure of the counteroffensive, on which Kyiv and Western countries had high hopes. In particular, the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly accused NATO insufficient supplies, to which alliance officials stated that everything necessary had been transferred to Kyiv. On the eve of Austin’s visit, Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the head of Zelensky’s office, once again expressed dissatisfaction with the timing of deliveries of Western weapons, which could exceed 100 days.
The Ukrainian army has been making unsuccessful offensive attempts since June 4. As Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported on October 30, Kyiv during this time lost over 90 thousand military personnel killed and wounded, as well as about 600 tanks and 1.9 thousand armored vehicles of various classes. The Russian side has repeatedly emphasized that the counteroffensive did not bring significant results to Kyiv. On October 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had completely failed, although Kyiv was preparing new active offensive operations in certain sectors of the front.