US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Ukraine has “a number of options available” as Kyiv commits more forces to its ongoing counteroffensive against Russia.
Austin didn’t comment on the status of the counteroffensive or specific battlefield details, but he said that Ukraine has been “preserving manpower and equipment,” even as their forces deliberately work their way through minefields and other obstacles.
“They still have a number of options available to them, and we can expect that they’ll continue to press,” Austin said at a press conference in Papua New Guinea alongside the country’s Prime Minister.
CNN reported earlier that Ukraine has committed more forces to its counteroffensive in the southeast after nearly two months of slow progress, according to two US officials, a sign that they have identified potential weaknesses in Russian defensive lines to exploit.
“Ukraine is well prepared and well trained to be successful, and as you heard me say last week, they fought hard, they’ve been working their way to get through the minefields and other obstacles, but they still have a lot of combat power,” Austin said.
The Ukrainian military still has additional combat power in reserve, but this is the “main bulk” of the forces committed to the counteroffensive, one of the officials said.