White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan dodged questions Tuesday about whether President Biden believes Ukraine can defeat Russian troops, whose invasion of that country has lasted nearly four weeks.
The vote of no confidence in Ukraine’s armed forces came as Biden prepared to travel to Europe this week to hold talks with US allies about imposing sanctions on Russia and arms sales to Ukraine.
“Does the President believe that Ukraine can win a military victory here? And if so, why haven’t we heard from him before?” RealClearPolitics reporter Philip Wegman asked Sullivan at a news conference.
“What I said was that Russia will never take Ukraine away from the Ukrainian people. It will never be able to subjugate the Ukrainian people,” Sullivan replied.
“This was not a statement of any particular piece of territory that a Russian advance might occupy for any particular period of time, or any particular battle that a Russian element might win.”
“I would refer you to the Pentagon for the best military analysis of how specific battles and specific fronts will play out,” Sullivan added. “But what I’m saying is this: whether Russia captures the city, or captures a city, or captures more territory, they will never be able to achieve the goal they have set for themselves, which is to subjugate this country, this country to give way because the Ukrainian people have made it very clear that they will not be subdued.”
CBS reporter Major Garrett added, asking Sullivan, “Is it a policy of this administration that Ukraine should win this? That it should expel Russia and regain its sovereignty?”
Sullivan again gave an indirect answer.
“We have said from the outset that we stand steadfastly in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. We remain committed to that as our proposal for it,” he said.
“But in the immediate day-to-day running of this conflict, our focus is on making sure Ukraine has the tools it needs to defend itself and effectively ensure Russia cannot achieve its goals in Ukraine.” That’s what we’re concentrating on right now. But on the core thesis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia – Ukraine, we have not wavered from day one of the Biden administration.”
Biden himself said at a Jan. 19 press conference that he believed Russia would win if it invaded Ukraine, which it did on Feb. 24.
“They will prevail over time, but it will be difficult,” the president said at the time. “It’s going to be real. It will be momentous.”
Since then, Ukrainian forces have offered unexpectedly fierce resistance to the Russian military, which has resorted to heavy bombardments of major cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol, causing widespread destruction and civilian casualties.
In the 27 days since the invasion began, Russian forces have taken control of only one major population center in Ukraine, the southern city of Kherson.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/22/does-joe-biden-think-ukraine-can-win-war-with-russia/ Does Joe Biden think Ukraine can win the war with Russia?