US Defence Secretary Comments on Ukraine's Preparedness for Counteroffensive Following Pentagon Document Leak

Wednesday, 12 April 2023

United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin has said that Ukraine has "much of the capability" it needs to launch a successful counteroffensive, even in the light of the recent leak of US intelligence documents.

"I just spoke with my counterpart in Ukraine today, Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.  And we talked about a number of issues [...].  But he and the leadership remain focused on the task at hand.  And I have every confidence that they will do what good leaders, great leaders do: They will fight the enemy and not be driven by a specific plan," Austin said during a press conference with US State Secretary Anthony Blinken, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, and Philippine Senior Undersecretary and Officer in Charge of the Department of National Defense Carlito Galvez 

Austin said that Ukraine has a "great plan to start" but added that only President Zelenskyy and his leadership "really know the full details of that plan."

"So they have much of the capability that they need to continue to be successful. We’ve trained an enormous number of troops. We have provided a substantial number of platforms,"  the US Secretary of Defence said.

He also said that the US will remain focused on continuing to generate security assistance capability so that the Ukrainian forces "can continue to be successful whenever they choose to take up offensive operations."

"And again, sustainment will be there throughout. We’ll stay connected with our allies and partners.  We next meet for our next round of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group meeting on the 21st, and I look forward to seeing him and the rest of our colleagues at that meeting," Austin added.

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