Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that Ukraine’s military is capable of launching a counteroffensive and regaining territory from Russia despite what Pentagon documents leaked on Discord have revealed.
One of the leaked documents allegedly released by Jack Teixeira was an intelligence assessment that said Ukraine would fall “well short” of its goals to retake territory due to difficulty preparing troops and equipment. Blinken didn’t comment on the specific leak but said the condition of Ukraine’s army can change over time.
“Where Ukraine might have been a month ago, two months ago, three months ago, is not where it is now in terms of its ability, for example, to prosecute a counteroffensive and to deal with the ongoing Russian aggression,” Blinken said.
A report from POLITICO published on April 24 said that current assessments also don’t expect Ukraine to regain as much territory as it did last year in Kharkiv and Kherson and that the US was preparing for failure. Ukrainian forces have also been using lots of manpower and other resources fighting in Bakhmut. But Blinken is insisting Kyiv is capable of pushing back the Russians.
Blinken said he was “confident that they will have success in regaining more of their territory.” He suggested the war might not end even if Ukraine has some success and said it’s up to Kyiv when to stop fighting.
“Where exactly this settles remains to be seen,” he said. “And Ukraine has to make important decisions about exactly where it’s going to go, how far it can get, and how it wants to pursue this. But we’re determined to sustain that support.”
Ukrainian officials still maintain that their goal is to push Russia out of all the territory it controls, including Crimea, and peace talks can’t happen until that is achieved. Blinken has previously acknowledged that the US supporting a Ukrainian assault on Crimea would risk a major escalation as the peninsula is a “red line” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.