Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Wednesday that the “numbers” favor Russia in Ukraine as Russian forces continue to make slow but steady gains against Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region.
“I would say the numbers clearly favor the Russians, in terms of artillery,” Milley said at a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “In terms of artillery, they do outnumber, they out-gun and out-range.”
Ukrainian officials have admitted in recent weeks that they are out-gunned in the east as they are pleading with the West to send more heavy weapons. The US pledged a new $1 billion aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday, but there is the matter of the time it will take to get more arms to the battlefield as Ukrainian forces still need to be trained.
Western arms shipments to Ukrainian forces fighting in the east could also be disrupted by Russian missiles. Russia said Wednesday that it hit a warehouse in Ukraine’s western Lviv region storing ammunition for arms provided by NATO, including munitions for M777 Howitzers.
Despite Ukraine’s setbacks, the US appears ready to support the war for the long term, and Ukrainian leaders still insist that their goal is to drive Russia out of all the territory it has captured. Earlier in the war, Milley said he expected a “protracted conflict” that will be measured in years.