Ukraine’s success in its counteroffensive against the Russian invasion did not surprise its allies and partners, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.
“I think if anyone was surprised, just based on the reports that we’ve seen in terms of the Russian military’s response, it was probably the Russians,” the Russian official declared.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced to reporters that Ukrainian service members had liberated more than 2,300 square miles of the country from the Russians. Zelenskyy said Ukrainian troops are pressing Russian forces north of Kharkiv and that a large portion of the invaders have fled across the line into Russia.
“Certainly, since the beginning of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, we’ve seen the Ukrainians demonstrate a remarkable adaptability and their ability to use their warfighting capabilities to great effect,” Ryder stated during a Pentagon press conference. “So, it’s not surprising to us that they have pushed as quickly as they have.”
The Ukrainian army also took advantage of the military opportunities presented themselves in the field. The Kharkiv offensive is proof of that, said the general.
Western weapons and supplies played a part in the effectiveness of the counteroffensive . And at a gathering of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Ramstein Air Base, Germany the Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and counterparts from nearly 50 other nations pledged to ensure that the supply chain is in motion and increase aid that can be applied to mid-term and longer-term Ukrainian defenses, Ryder said.
Russians invading Ukraine without provocation Ukraine is a challenge to the international rules-based order that has prevented wars among major powers since the end in World War II.
“Secretary Austin and other U.S. government leaders continue to regularly engage with our Ukrainian counterparts,” Ryder stated at the press conference. “I think last week’s meeting at Ramstein is a good example of how seriously we’re taking this and that we are constantly engaged in a dialogue to determine what are the needs of our Ukrainian partners, based on the conditions on the ground.”
In the counteroffensive, Ukrainian troops are making use of the weapons they possess effectively, and they have changed the dynamics in the battle according to the general. The Ukrainian army has also learned that the battle is not over. The Ukrainian army has adopted NATO strategy of battle and embraced combined arms as a way of fighting. The Ukrainian military was able to adapt older, Soviet-era military gear to use new strategies and defeat the Russians. Ukrainian soldiers also learned western equipment like HIMARS, M777 howitzers, drones, and are equipped to utilize them alongside the more traditional systems, and then integrate them into the combat strategies they employ.
“It is just that remarkable adaptability on the battlefield to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that exist to use not only equipment that they’ve already had in their inventory, but the equipment that has been provided to them by the U.S. and other international partners,” Ryder said. “So, it is very evident that they continue to figure out ways to fight.”
The fifth Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting held at Ramstein Air Base last week represents a worldwide effort to support Ukraine and defend the order based on rules. Russia is in a state of isolation. This isolation is exemplified by the fact that the sole two nations that supply weapons for Russia include Iran as well as North Korea.
It is unclear if war will occur, however, at present, “Ukraine continues to use the aid provided by the United States and other international partners to great effect on the battlefield in their fight to defend their country,” Ryder stated.