US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin believes that Ukraine is "making progress" in the Kherson region, continuing to resist the Russian invasion, and added that there have been "certain changes in the dynamics of hostilities."
He said this in an interview with CNN.
Austin attributed this change to the skill of Ukrainian soldiers and their strategic use of weapons provided by US and NATO allies, including highly mobile anti-aircraft missile systems (HIMARS).
"What we're seeing now is a kind of dynamic change on the battlefield," Austin said. "They did a very, very good job in the Kharkiv region and are moving to take advantage of the opportunities that have arisen. The fighting in the Kherson region is going a little slower, but they are moving forward," he noted.
Austin noted that Ukrainian forces are using "technologies like HIMARS" and using them "in the right way" to "conduct attacks on facilities such as logistics depots and command posts, which takes away significant capabilities from the Russians."
Thus, the Ukrainians "changed the dynamics, and this created an opportunity for them to maneuver," he added.
Asked why the U.S. had not provided Ukraine with the longer-range weapons the Ukrainians had requested, Austin said he speaks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, "on a regular basis" and believes the U.S. has been "very effective in providing them with those things that are very, very effective on the battlefield."
"It's not just about the equipment you have. It's about how you use that equipment, how you synchronize things together to create effects on the battlefield that can then create capabilities," he said.
Austin noted that what will happen in Ukraine is "difficult to predict," but assured that the United States "will continue to provide security assistance as long as it is needed."
"Ukrainians have impressed the world with their ability to fight back, their ability to show initiative, their dedication to the defense of democracy," he said. "And this readiness to fight has rallied the international community in the desire to provide them with security assistance so that they can continue to fight," added the head of the Pentagon.
It will be recalled that US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin condemned Russia's statements about the possible use of nuclear weapons and noted that he had conveyed a warning to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Shoigu about the possible consequences of such a move.