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Top US general: Russian control of eastern Ukraine not 'an inevitability'

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley speaks at a press conference during the first day of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization Defence Ministers' meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 15.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley speaks at a press conference during the first day of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization Defence Ministers' meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 15. (Valeria Mongelli/AFP/Getty Images)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley downplayed criticisms that the United States is not providing Ukraine with all of the weapons it is requesting, saying that "in warfare, no weapons system is a silver bullet, ever."

"So no weapons system, singular weapons system ever, quote unquote turns the balance," Milley said at a news conference in Brussels alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. 

Milley said that if the Ukrainians use the weapons systems the US and other allies are providing properly, "they ought to be able to take out a significant amount of targets."

He also complimented them as "top-notch gunners" on the Triple 7 Howitzers, and he expected them to also be very good on the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS, a lighter wheeled system capable of firing many of the same types of ammunition as MLRS.

Milley said he believes Ukraine will be able to sustain the fight, despite media reports that say around 100 Ukrainian forces are killed and another 100 to 300 people are wounded each day.

“Your ability to endure suffering, your ability to endure casualties, is directly proportional to the object to be attained. And if the object to be attained is survival of your country, then you’re going to sustain it,” Milley said.

He said that he believed Ukraine would continue to fight “as long as they have leadership, and they have the means by which to fight,” such as “ammunition, artillery tubes, et cetera.”

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