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Austin: 'Ukraine doesn't have time to waste' ahead of counteroffensive
Ukraine's upcoming counteroffensive has the United States fast-tracking the supply of weapons and the training of Ukrainian soldiers, with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warning, "Ukraine doesn't have any time to waste," Politico reported.
“We have to deliver swiftly and fully on our promised commitments,” Austin, as quoted by Politico, said. “That includes delivering our armored capabilities to the battlefield and ensuring that Ukrainian soldiers get the training, spare parts, and maintenance support they need to use these new systems as soon as possible.”
According to Politico, the U.S.'s concern stems from the amount of artillery the Ukrainian military has already depleted and the level of experience necessary for its soldiers to launch a successful counteroffensive.
American officials estimated that as many as 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the start of the war, Politico reported.
Russia is also suffering heavy losses, with 162,560 troop casualties as per the latest update given by Ukraine's General Staff.
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said he was "optimistic" about the outcome of the Ramstein format meeting with allies on March 15 regarding the strengthening of Ukraine's air defense, ammunition supplies, and training soldiers.
Following the latest meeting, Spain pledged four additional Leopard tanks, and Canada announced that it would provide Ukraine with more artillery and air defense ammunition.
Austin also confirmed that nine countries have pledged a total of 150 tanks so far, and the tank coalition was in the process of growing.