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July 7, 2023 – Russia and Ukraine news

4:16 PM ET, July 7, 2023

The Pentagon cites the “slower” Ukrainian counterattack as one reason the cluster munitions were sent

By CNN’s Michael Conte

The Pentagon said that one of the main reasons the United States is providing cluster munitions to Ukraine is to help it penetrate Russian defensive lines because the counterattack is “going a little slower than some had hoped.”

“We want to make sure that the Ukrainians have enough artillery to keep them in the fight in the context of the current counteroffensive,” Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said at a news briefing. “And because things are going a little slower than some had hoped, there are very high expenditures for artillery.”

Kahl said the munitions would be delivered to Ukraine “within an appropriate counterattack timeframe”.

Kahl also said the cluster munitions provisions are also an important signal to Russia that “the Ukrainians will stay in the game.”

“(Russian President) Vladimir Putin has a theory of victory, okay? His theory of victory is that it outlasts everyone,” Cal said. We will continue to provide Ukraine with capabilities that will keep them in the fight.”

In response to the humanitarian concerns On cluster munitions, Kahl said that “the worst thing for civilians in Ukraine is Russia winning the war, and so it’s important that they don’t.”

Counterattack status: The Ukrainian army has yet Failed to make significant gains in the early stages of its counter-offensive, documenting gradual advances on the front lines.

But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted to be strategic about where to send troops.

“Every meter, every kilometer costs lives,” he said earlier this month. “You can do something really fast, but the field is mined on the ground. People Our treasure. That’s why we’re so careful.”

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, also said the pace is not surprising, given that Russia has had time to bolster its defenses and “Ukrainian soldiers are attacking through minefields and into trenches”.

“Yeah, sure, it’s going a little slow, but that’s part of the nature of war,” Milley said.

CNN’s Ivana Kotasova contributed reporting for this post.

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