Pentagon says Ukraine's counteroffensive showing progress

Pentagon says Ukraine's counteroffensive showing progress

'Russian losses continue to mount,' says Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - Ukraine's effort to oust Russia from territories it continues to occupy is showing signs of success with Kyiv's forces remaining in possession of "significant" military reserves, senior Defense officials said Tuesday.

"We're seeing Ukraine make progress, and Russian losses continue to mount," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters at the Pentagon after a virtual gathering of Ukraine's international allies.

Austin said the 40-member "contact group" of nations "stands united behind" Ukraine, and "recommitted to supporting Ukraine during its crucial counter-offensive, and for the long-haul."

"This is no time to slow down. The United States and our allies and partners have moved mountains to provide Ukraine with critical air defense systems, munitions and more," he said.

"I'm grateful to all of our allies and partners for their commitment and their clarity of purpose. I've asked our friends to continue to dig deep into their military stocks. Because we're going to do what it takes to support Ukraine's sovereign right to live free today and for the future," he added.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley maintained Kyiv's forces remain in possession of a "significant amount of combat power not yet committed" as they pursue the arduous and time-consuming task of clearing sprawling minefields left behind by Russia.

"Right now, they are preserving their combat power, and they are slowly and deliberately and steadily working their way through all these minefields, and it's a tough fight. It's a very difficult fight," he said.

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