Ukrainian forces have changed the dynamics of the full-scale war unleashed by Russia, and all assumptions of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin about the course of it were wrong, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said at the opening of yet another meeting in the Ramstein format in Brussels on Oct. 12.
Before the Contact Group session convened, Austin together with the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, met with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov.
“…They've (Ukrainian forces) liberated hundreds of towns from Russian occupation. And they've retaken thousands of square kilometers of their land. These victories belong to the Ukrainian soldiers, but the Contact Group's security assistance, training, and sustainment efforts have been vital,” Austin said in his opening remarks.
According to him, while Russian dictator Vladimir Putin sends “untrained, unwitting Russian citizens” to the front lines, Ukraine “has shown the world the military and moral power of a free people fighting for their democracy and their sovereignty.”
Austin affirmed that the Contact Group stands united and determined. “We will continue to boost Ukraine’s defensive capabilities – for today’s urgent needs and for the long haul.”
The Sixth meeting in the Ramstein format is taking place in Brussels on October 12. According to the Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov, the issue of strengthening Ukraine’s air defense will be a No. 1 issue on the agenda of the meeting.