The push by the United States to send artillery to Ukraine aims to degrade Russian forces, not only on the immediate battlefield but over the longer term, according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and military experts.
The United States, France, Czech Republic and other allies are sending scores of the long-range howitzers to help Ukraine blunt Russia s mounting offensive in the eastern Donbas region.
Backed by better air defense, attack drones and Western intelligence, the allies hope that Kyiv will be able to destroy a large amount of Russia s firepower in the looming showdown.
After returning from Kyiv, where he met Ukraine defense chiefs and President Volodymyr Zelensky, Austin told journalists in Poland early Monday that Washington s hopes are larger than that.
Russia “has already lost a lot of military capability, and a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability,” Austin said.
“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”