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US General: 'Russia will not stop with Ukraine unless they're stopped in Ukraine'

by Olena Goncharova May 12, 2024 4:48 AM 2 min read
A woman walks by destroyed buildings 20 miles west from the front lines of fighting on Jan. 20, 2023 in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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An autocratic regime like Russia can readily prioritize the expansion of its defense industries over economic well-being to sustain their military actions in Ukraine, along with help from Iran and North Korea, said Lt Gen. Steven L. Basham, U.S. Air Forces in Europe deputy commander.

Speaking at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies event "Transatlantic Security After 75 Years of NATO" on May 10, Basham noted that the West's defense industrial base is also accelerating: "Make no mistake. It's picking up speed. It will continue to accelerate past the capability of Russia. The time that is being spent by Russia inside Ukraine is also time that we have to get our industrial base to where it needs to be."

Lt. Basham said that Russia, once renowned for its defense exports, now appears to be increasingly reliant on importing both equipment and technology, notably from China. "The challenges that Russia faces in their own equipment, they're actually making up for by developing that relationship with China."

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War Notes

"The defense of our nation starts well outside the borders of the United States," he said. "All [that Ukraine is] asking for is our continued unwavering, consistent, continuous support. I think that's actually what they're getting right now. We've just got to stay that course. And I think we need to do a much better job of explaining [that to] the American people," he said, according to the U.S. Department of Defense report.

Basham also highlighted  the importance of defending NATO, saying, "Make no mistake. No matter how this ends in Ukraine, Russia will not stop with Ukraine unless they're stopped in Ukraine."

Presence matters, he said, referring to U.S. troop deployments to Europe.

"You have to be with your allies to be able to integrate. You have to be with your allies to campaign, to exercise. And by the way, it can't be just episodic," he said, regarding U.S. commitment to NATO.

The road from death to life: Medics evacuate wounded Ukrainian soldiers amid intensified fighting (Photo)
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