Celeste Wallander, the US Undersecretary of Defense for International Security, said that Ukraine’s current goal is to push the Russian forces to the opposite bank of the river by breaking the line on the western bank of the Dnieper river in the Kherson region.
Wallnder made assessments on the Ukraine war at the Washington-based International Center for Strategic Studies (CSIS).
The US Undersecretary claimed that because Russian President Vladimir Putin gathered like-minded people around him, he did not hear different opinions on Ukraine and therefore he failed in the war.
Stating that the lessons to be learned from the Russia-Ukraine war are still being studied by the US institutions, Wallander stated that the most critical lesson he learned is the “importance of alliances”.
Wallander noted that the United States and its allies will continue to provide weapons to Ukraine throughout the winter.
Noting that Ukraine has achieved remarkable strategic achievements in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Kharkov region, Wallander said, “The recent capture of the Port city was a major blow, which will greatly affect the maintenance and supply capability of the Russian forces towards the forward fronts.” he said.
Evaluating the situation of the war in the near future, Wallander said, “Ukraine’s goal is to push Russia’s bridgehead line on the western side of the Dnieper river in the Kherson region to the opposite shore. This will be a great defeat for the Russians, because Odessa, which is among the targets they announced at the beginning of this year. “It will further reduce its goal of taking the war. It will also reduce the hot conflict that will take place during the winter and provide Ukraine with a better defensive position.” said.
Wallander pointed out that in order for Ukraine to achieve these goals, it would need weapons assistance from the United States and the international community.
-EUROPE DIDN’T SEE THE WARNING SIGNALS TO RUSSIA
Stating that the biggest reflection of the Ukraine war is on Europe, since the foundations of Europe’s security have been shaken by Russia, Wallander continued:
“With the end of the Cold War, Europe took a deep breath. There was no longer a Cold War. After the First, Second World Wars and the Cold War, there was no more bipolar conflict on the European continent. Europe will bring the benefits of a pluralistic integration with Russia on issues such as economic competition and investment. It was ready for a security cooperation. It was not wrong, but many of the European countries were so invested in this idea of a good future that Putin even saw the warning signs that have been coming for nearly 20 years and at least the Russian invasion of Crimea and Donbas in 2014. “They couldn’t even see how dangerous it was going to go. But we were able to dispel any doubt that this was not Putin’s path, and we were able to demonstrate that Europe should take it seriously.”
Wallender stated that Europe is now taking the threat of Russia seriously and that Russia is a global leader on Ukraine’s need to be accountable.