Defense Secretary Austin: 'We're Going to Keep Looking Into Our Stocks and Into Our Budget to Resupply Ukraine'

( – “We’ll continue to dig deep for new donations” to Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters at a joint news conference on Wednesday with Joint Chief Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.

Austin said that includes “looking into” U.S. stocks and the U.S. budget “to resupply Ukraine throughout the year.”

The donations of money and materiel are coming from “more than 40 countries,” Austin said, the United States foremost among them.

“Putin has now had a year’s-worth of proof that the United States and the Contact Group will support Ukraine’s right to defend itself for the long haul. But Putin still hopes that he can wear down Ukraine and wait us out, so we can’t let up and we won’t,” Austin said.

He noted recent announcements of support by Sweden (tanks and air defense), Norway (two surface-to-air missile systems), the Netherlands (delivering new capabilities to the battlefield) and Slovenia (armor).


“But for Ukraine to protect its sovereign territory and defend its citizens over the long term we must keep going,” Austin said:

“So we’re going to help Ukraine sustain the tanks, the infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles that are making their way into the front lines, and we’re going to continue urgently training Ukrainian soldiers on the capabilities that we’re providing and on a combined-arms maneuver tactics that they need to succeed.

“We’re going to keep looking into our stocks and into our budget to resupply Ukraine throughout the year and we’re going to continue to — continue our important work in lockstep with our Ukrainian partners to maintain accountability for the security assistance that we’re providing.

“And finally, above all, we’re going to stay united. Together, we’re helping Ukraine fight to live free, and together, we’re helping to show that rules matter, and together, we’re helping to advance our shared security in an open world of rules and rights.”

Austin said the U.S. and NATO are “generating combat power to a degree” that will allow Ukraine to “change the dynamics on the battlefield at some point” in the future.

“Whatever point that is, whatever — you know, whatever they want to do in the future, I think the — the platforms, the — the training, the sustainment, the maintenance that we’re providing is — it will make a significant difference.”

‘Front line remains relatively static’

Gen. Milley told the news conference that “Ukraine remains strong,” while “Russia continues to pay severely in terms of lives and military equipment for its continued war of choice.”

“Right now, there is intense fighting in and around Bakhmut, and the Russians are making small tactical advances, but at great cost,” Milley said.

“Elsewhere, the front line remains relatively static, with significant exchanges of artillery but no significant maneuver gains by either side.

“Right now, as you know, there is a significant ongoing effort to build up the Ukrainian military, in terms of equipment, munitions and training, in a variety of countries in order to enable Ukraine to defend itself.

“The increased Ukrainian capability will allow the Ukrainian leadership to develop and execute a variety of options in the future to achieve their objectives and bring this war to a successful conclusion.”

Milley noted that “a broad mix of air defense systems have been promised” to Ukraine to protect its cities; while “artillery and armor are going to strengthen Ukraine lines, enable their forces to synchronize fire and movement for either offensive or defensive operations.”

“Long range fires would challenge Russia’s ability to command and control, protect and sustain their forces,” he added.


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