U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Condemns Russia's Invasion on Two-Year Anniversary

Austin called upon Congress to swiftly pass a national-security supplemental to provide essential support for Ukraine
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 04:46 AM, February 24, 2024
  • 998
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Condemns Russia's Invasion on Two-Year Anniversary
Ukrainian HIMARS multiple rocket launcher

In a poignant reflection on the two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivered a powerful statement today, condemning the “illegal and indefensible” actions of Russian forces while commending Ukraine's resilience in the face of aggression.

Austin said Russia miscalculated in assuming Ukraine's imminent collapse under the weight of the invasion. He emphasized that contrary to Putin's expectations, Ukraine not only withstood the Battle of Kyiv but also thwarted attempts to topple its democratically elected government and crush the spirit of its people. “Over the past two years, Putin has assumed that Ukraine's forces would collapse and that Ukraine's friends would cower. He couldn't have been more wrong,” he said.

In a significant counteroffensive, Ukraine has reclaimed over half of the sovereign territory seized by Russian forces in 2022. He said Putin's unprovoked war has inflicted substantial losses on Russia, including hundreds of thousands of casualties, significant equipment losses, and a setback to its military modernization program.

However, Secretary Austin acknowledged the challenges ahead for Ukraine and called upon Congress to swiftly pass a national-security supplemental to provide essential support for Ukrainian troops defending their nation against Russia's aggression. This, he emphasized, would also reaffirm America's unwavering commitment to Ukraine's freedom.

The Secretary of Defense highlighted ongoing global efforts to support Ukraine through the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which involves around 50 countries. This coalition, contributing over $87 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the war's outset, showcases a united front against Russian aggression. Secretary Austin stressed that 15 U.S. allies, in terms of GDP percentage, surpass the United States in their contributions to Ukraine's capability needs.

Austin called on the international community to collectively decide the kind of future they want for the next generation: a world of openness, security, and prosperity based on rules and rights, or one characterized by violence, lawlessness, aggression, and chaos, as sought by Putin.

We support Ukraine's fight for freedom, both because it is the right thing to do and because doing so is central to America's continued security,” Austin said.

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