Sunday, June 23, 2024

Russian Targets More Than ‘Messaging,’ Pentagon Spokesperson Says

Washington, DC – On Sunday (March 13), long-range Russian airstrikes hit the city of Yavoriv in western Ukraine, less than 15 miles from the Polish border — which is NATO territory. The location is where National Guard troops from Florida just weeks ago trained alongside Ukrainian troops — though Americans are no longer at the location.

It’s just one set of several strikes by the Russians that recently hit western Ukraine, said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby during a briefing today, and illustrates an effort by the Russians to expand their target set in the country.

But the press secretary also said while the United States doesn’t have insight into why the Russians are choosing the targets they’ve chosen, it’s more likely the targets are meant to achieve a military objective than it is they are meant to be symbolic or send a message to NATO nations.

“They are clearly expanding some of their target sets here,” Kirby said. “I can’t get into their heads and to tell you exactly what was behind that target on that day with that many cruise missiles. I don’t want to just reduce this to some sort of signaling.”

If the Russian president hoped the specific targets or the war itself is meant to send a message to NATO about the size of or strength of the alliance, then the war is a failure, Kirby said.

“He’s getting exactly what he says he doesn’t want: a strong, united NATO on his western flank,” Kirby said. “Just over the last few days, we moved some Patriot batteries from Germany to Poland. And we’re going to continue to look at potential repositioning if we need to, to defend NATO’s eastern flank.”

The Patriot batteries, Kirby said, are defensive in nature for over NATO airspace and NATO territory.

“For our purposes, the military capabilities that we are adding to NATO’s eastern flank are designed to protect and defend and deter against attacks on NATO territory — that includes NATO airspace,” he said.

So far, Kirby said, Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has killed thousands, displaced many, many more and destroyed homes and other property.

“He clearly has more than a message in mind here,” Kirby said. “He clearly has the occupation of Ukraine in mind … I want to be careful here that we’re not reducing the kind of damage and death he’s causing to some sort of message signaling. I think that’s being way too generous to what the Kremlin’s trying to do inside Ukraine.”

Over the weekend, an additional “drawdown” package of security assistance, worth $200 million, was authorized for Ukraine.

A “drawdown,” according to documentation available from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, allows the president to withdraw weapons, ammunitions and material from existing U.S. military stocks and provide that to other nations.

“I can tell you that experts here at the Pentagon have pen and paper in hand and they’re working out how we would realize that drawdown as quickly as we can,” Kirby said.

The last drawdown package of security assistance material for Ukraine was worth $350 million, and Kirby said the delivery of the supplies from that package are now nearly complete.

U.S. security assistance continues to flow into Ukraine, Kirby said, and will continue to flow as it’s needed, based on ongoing discussions with the Ukrainians.

“We’re going to continue to flow security assistance to the Ukrainians as fast as we can and as nimbly as we can,” Kirby said. “As we stand here today, those shipments are getting into the hands of the Ukrainians and we’re going to keep looking for ways to make sure that that continues.”

The U.S. isn’t the only nation sending security assistance to Ukraine, Kirby said. Right now, there are 14 other nations contributing needed materiel to the Ukrainians.

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest news

Global Nuclear Arsenals Expand Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions

Washington, DC - The global landscape of nuclear armament saw significant developments in 2023, with the nine nuclear-armed states—United...

What is a Heat Dome? A Meteorologist Explains the Weather Phenomenon Baking the Eastern US

Heat domes, like the one sending temperatures soaring from the Midwest to New England and across the eastern U.S....

Impact of CPEC 2.0 on Gilgit Baltistan (POJK)

Washington, DC - Despite financial and security concerns, Pakistan and China have launched CPEC 2.0 with a renewed emphasis...

‘Born in the USA’ Turns 40 − and Still Remains one of Bruce Springsteen’s Most Misunderstood Songs

Elton John, Adele and R.E.M. did it. So did Rihanna and the Rolling Stones. If Donald Trump tried to...
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

High Interest Rates Aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon – a Business Economist Explains Why

Christopher Decker, University of Nebraska Omaha The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its May 1, 2024, policy meeting,...

Tibetan Advocacy and Hope: Conversation with Ven. Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende

Venerable Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende, member of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism...

Must read

Echoes of Cochin: The Enduring Legacy of Kerala’s Jewish Community

The Cochin Jews: A Historical Overview The Cochin Jews, a...