By DoD News
By David Vergun
The Defense Department urges Congress to quickly pass the president’s supplemental request, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said at a press briefing Tuesday.
That request seeks $33 billion, which includes $5 billion additional drawdown authority so that DOD can continue uninterrupted provisioning of United States arms stocks to Ukraine, he said.
As for the battlefield update in Ukraine, Kirby said the Russians still do not have air superiority and the airspace is still contested as a result of Ukraine’s air force and their effective short- and long-range air defense capabilities.
“We’re going to continue to stay focused on making sure that the Ukrainians’ air defense remains effective,” he said.
“They are still putting up very stiff resistance and they have prevented the Russians from achieving many of the objectives that they had in the Donbas region. [The Ukrainians] are still fighting hard,” he said.
“We still believe it’s a very dynamic environment. It’s a very kinetic fight. And villages and towns continue to change hands and the Russians have not made much of any appreciable progress,” he added.
Kirby noted that the sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S., allies and partner nations are making it harder for Moscow to get the specific components that make up precision-guided munitions and that Russia’s defense industrial base is struggling to keep up.
Kirby commended the journalists of Ukraine, who he said are doing a masterful job telling the story of their fellow citizens during this invasion by Russia.
“[Their reporting] is tough to read, tough to watch, but you know what, it should be, based on what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is doing. And the bravery and skill that they’re showing every day is truly inspiring, just as the fighting of the Ukrainian soldiers is,” he said.