US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia “continues to pour large numbers of additional people into the fight” in Ukraine, and “that is their strength.”
He added that “Those people are ill-trained and ill-equipped, and because of that we see them incurring a lot of casualties,” Austin said, but the US expects Russia to continue with this strategy of throwing bodies at the fight despite their lack of equipment.
Austin made the remarks at a news conference from NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Austin said that by contrast, the US and NATO are determined to provide Ukraine with sophisticated equipment — and train Ukrainian troops on those systems — to give them the upper hand.
“Our goal is to make sure that we give Ukraine additional capability so that they can not only be marginally successful, they can be decisive on the battlefield and in their upcoming offensive,” Austin said.
“We're laser-focused on making sure that we provide a capability and not just platforms,” he added.
“So for every system that we provide, we're going to train troops on that system. But we're also going to give them additional training on maneuver, on the integration of fires, on sustainment, and on maintenance. And so with that additional capability, better-trained troops, platforms that can perform a lot better in this environment. I think they'll have a real good chance at making a pretty significant difference on the battlefield and establishing the initiative, and being able to exploit that initiative going forward," he said.