Robert Gates: “Russia has broken the stalemate in Ukraine”

9:32 27.02.2024 •

The Russian military has broken the stalemate in the Ukraine war, Robert Gates, former CIA director and secretary of Defense (photo), said, following Moscow’s successful push to take the front-line city of Avdeevka.

“It’s no longer a stalemate. The Russians have regained momentum,” Gates told The Washington Post’s David Ignatius in a streaming interview. “Everything I’m reading is that the Russians are on the offensive along the 600-mile front.”

“The Russians are feeling that the tides have turned, and while there is much to be done, the initiative has passed to them,” Gates said.

“They have more and more supplies coming in — I’ve read that for every artillery shell fired by Ukrainian forces, the Russians fire 10,” he added.

Gates noted that European allies in NATO, “who we so often criticize,” have stepped up their support to Ukraine, but lack the ability to immediately send weapons. Production timelines will see NATO support reach the battlefield in 2025, he estimated.

Right now, “the only real military lifeline comes from the United States. And as we all know, that is, shall we say, on pause right now,” he said.

Aid to Ukraine still lingers in the House, where Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is caught between moderates who support Ukraine and far-right members who oppose it without major concessions from Democrats on the border.

The timing of the current aid package — Biden requested a $60 billion supplemental, which was part of a bipartisan Senate package passed earlier this month — is going to be a determining factor in Ukraine’s survival against a revived Russian offensive in 2024, Gates said.


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