tv Fmr. NATO Supreme Allied Cmdr. Europe on Ukraines Military Strategy CSPAN September 6, 2022 10:51pm-11:54pm EDT
>> thank you for joining us. today, we have five phenomenal experts and we are very excited about this panel. we have an hour together. we invite you to put your questions into the chat or to send us questions on twitter. i will be glad to direct them to the right person. without further ado, we have the jeanne kirkpatrick the at the council on foreign relations and contributed to the washington post. we have the former supreme
allied commander in europe and a great event of the eurasian center and a board director. we have a senior policy regime a the grand corporation and everything he write is where the meeting. really glad to have her and finally, he will be a couple minutes late, the former minister of defense. distinguished fellow at the eurasia center and is chairman of a great think tank in key have called the centre for defense strategies. if you're not getting his daily updates get online and have a look. centre for defense strategies really helpful. i want to make the most of our time ago to general breedlove. take us off please. two weeks ago ukraine launched its long-awaited counteroffensive to retake territory in the south. how much character would you expect ukraine to liberate and what are the challenges they will face and how things going so far? general breedlove, the floor is your. >> thank you for having me, and
what a great group. i look forward to several of these grading my papers and cracking my answers. to hit the large question first, i really believe that this offense is can have a major effect on this war. but i will catgut that by saying upfront and roll a grenade out on the table, and that really is that is to be determined by leaders in the west. if we're going to provide ukraine what it needs, ukraine has the wherewithal, the field in forces and the will to make a difference. and so largely how this rolls out will depend on what the west has done to help supply the effort. skipping out to kind of what we see on the ground, and there are several who have raised hundred more recent experience in these i hope they will add some point as well. it appears that despite all of
the news, and there is an aggressive disinformation campaign out of their about what's going on in the south, learned individuals on the ground and reporters are seeing successes, limited successes at this point, successes by ukrainian forces. and they appear to be trying as you know the whole areas dominated by a series of rivers and river inlets and bodies of water, and they are attempting to use the geography and the limited throughput and roads and bridges to to in their attaco buy the russian forces and make them feel exposed and vulnerable on the west side of the river, causing major problems for russia. and they are having some small town by town successes.
probably nothing that we would call major at this point but the major point is that in some way they are moving forward. they are beating some resistance. as you know russia has added to their forces in the area -- meeting -- the bottom line is ukraine is having some limited successes. and i think i will leave it at that because the confusion out there is important. the biggest point to walk away from here is that i believe rush is beginning to feel vulnerable in the south. and you saw some hints by some senior russian leaders yesterday of the possibility of resuming talks. albeit to meet only the russian objective, but the mere fact that they come back to the table i thinks is something about what they are feeling in the south. >> thanks so much. dara would you jump in and build on that point? we have a press blackout it's hard to get information, how do
we figure out what's actually going on? say more about the disinformation you are seeing. >> thank you so much having. so as we talk about in the beginning it would how to make sense of what's going on even for someone who is been dealing in the space for a long time. you see coming from both sides to on the russian side, russian telegrams in particular what often do is look at the negative space, , what they are not showing. if you go to the major channels notified that what's happening in curse on. i suspect that self-limiting behavior. they're not supposed to talk about too much or they could trip up new russian laws the basically considered anything the common come doesn't a felony offense. also i advocate ukraine social media to make sense of what's happening, try to keep in mind that this active ongoing battle. people are not providing detailed information on day-to-day operations. i . i understand that pickett makes it difficult to make heads or
tails of the from and analytics perspective. what i assume it is similar to what general breedlove mention that both sites are not really, they don't represent anything they would consider a major victory at this point because otherwise they would show it to. or they would discuss it. that goes to the russians or ukraine said. i am patiently for updates. >> great, thanks dara. we are glad to have you. they begin you come back from kherson and using a close with his offensive looks like. what did you see and what of the challenges did ukrainian face in trying to liberate this territory that haven't been mentioned? >> you unmuted, vivian. >> inc. is a much having me. i spent almost two weeks doing a slow crawl eastward and it was a
really interesting dynamic that you saw their geography being a huge factor in all of this. and what i mean by geography is just the landscape of the south. and the weapons they were receiving from the u.s. as being very beneficial. we know from what is now ukrn forces have been literally begging u.s. and other allies to send longer-range missiles, longer-range assistance to help them. and in the south that was especially critical because we are talking about vast fields of watermelon and wheat and sunflowers, and there's really no cover for the soldiers. one of the things i heard from them and it probably visited over a dozen checkpoints and frontlines accommodation of the to some of them were quieter than others, some of them were being really, really hammered while we were there. one of the things they're saying is because of the geography, because of those fields they don't have cover. and between russian forces being so skilled in using the drones
whereas the ukraine is severally struggled with that because the russians are very good at jamming their drones. secondly, the russians are so good at digging trenches and utilizing them to their advantage. they had just been getting completely hammered and having to fall back further and further and further. when i got in late june or july they start seeing results. i mean literally it was like a flip of a switch where whk before we had gone there my team and i, we were hearing one of the units that we visited had seen basically a massacre. they had lost tons of forces. and when we went and saw them a week after that horrible battle they were sitting in a courtyard taking a break smoking their cigarettes and kind of just getting a few minutes of downtime. clearly very common type of what it happened to them but they said straight out that already even though they just received a
high mark it gave them a bit of an edge they're able to inch forward and they had just recaptured a small village near to where we were. so they do see that to them is a huge advantage just the fact they are able to make a few feet worth of game for them is a big change to what had been happening previously whether getting hammered. now, they recognize that a few feet is hardly a major victory by do this for them of victory. they could be the opposite. they are very optimistic now. they believe more high marks will continue to make a difference -- himars. the matter what we say no matter how many himars to get russian forces are pouring in resources to these areas. they're utilizing whatever advantages they have in the landscape as far as supply routes along the rivers, bombarded, bombed out bridges, whatever they can use to their advantage to hold off ukrainian forces they are doing so. the russian government has no
problem piling soldiers in even as they get massacred one after the other by ukrainian forces. it sort of this endless supply or so they think of russian forces. and so it's been a struggle for them. i spent a lot of time -- there's a lot of differences of ice on that front liked what we saw in the south but the south they do believe at this stage they are in a position to make incremental gains. it's going to be a long way to go but it's the change of what we saw just a couple of weeks ago and so that is something very positive. >> vivian, are these numbers correct, at one point the greens were saying they were losing up to 200 men a day and after himars it was close to 30. all those numbers correct or what did you hear in your reporting? go ahead, thank you. >> those of the official numbers we keep on hearing and anecdotally from what i was hearing from the various units on the front lines it this seem
like they're losing far fewer soldiers. definitely the units i visited were telling me that much, that they were losing men left and right, there were a couple of battles that which is really ugly as recently as early july. and not only with a losing fewer soldiers but there were also making gains as a result of the himars coming in. definitely just with that alone they believe that is a huge advantage to them because between manpower and the loss of weapons the loss of drones, all of those things have been very critical for them to make even the slightest gains and they do believe now that is changing in their favor. >> what are the military guys you talk on ukraine's side saying for the counteroffensive? six months? what kind of timeframe? >> it's funny ask that because when you ask him i interviewed the ministry of defense, my second time anything in this year, and it was very positive and believe may be late summer
or early fall where you could start seeing targets against crimea with long-range missiles. you could start seeing some gains, maybe they would be an kherson by this point may be by late and october. you talk to the soldiers and they will tell you a very different story. they will tell you let kyiv think whatever they want we believe will be a lot longer than that. they were very sober about their assessment for what the timeframe was. they didn't want to kind of give an estimate of what this it is we know when we're ready, we know when this battle is going to tip in our favor and we're just not there yet. i caution people to kind of take what you are hearing on the government and the spokes get for the armed forces with a grain of salt because when you go to the front lines the commanders of those forces will tell you something very different and they are a lot more conservative about any kind of estimate. they believe the assessments being out there in the public is
good for momentum to keep soldiers revved up and have them believe that this battle is in their favor, but when you go there and see the traumatized look under faces and just like how brutal and how slow and painful this battle has been, you recognize that maybe there's truth to both stories in terms of maybe average summer in the middle of what the timeframe could be. >> thanks a lot. that's really helpful. max i would like to bring you in. in. can we talk about time? in the analytic community we have this long argument about is type on russia site or ukraine's side? i would like to hear your views on that. do you think ukraine is facing a race against the clock to make big gains before winter sets in? and do you think realistically it can happen before winter sets in? the floor is yours. >> i've gone back and forth on that question. you can make arguments on both sides but what i would say big picture right now is that
certainly kherson and the south the terms need to be just as there's a lot to be german in east as well. the bigger picture right now i think it's fair to say that ukraine has already won its war of independence because remember when putin launched this evil war of aggression on february 24, this plan was to march into kyiv in three days. he was going to take over the entire country in the matter of weeks. pretty clearly that is not happen and is not going to happen. putin will look to break ukraine a part and to dominate, and explosive it to russia. that's not going to happen. instead of leading division in ukraine, the russian information has led to ukrainian unity and it shows well over 90% of ukrainians believe that the work will be successful and they
support the president zelensky and his contact of the war. so there is rock solid ukrainian support for the war effort. there have been some hidden victories for ukraine that is not gotten the attention they deserve. for example, on july 22 agreement under which russia agreed to allow ukraine to start exporting grain and other agricultural goods once again under u.n. auspices. this is hoping to spike -- putin was using to try to bludgeon ukraine and its allies. and so far i would say on the economic front the russian energy weapon has also not produce the result putin wanted because he thought by threatening energy cost he could make your software support for ukraine that's a happy. the europeans -- they are finding ways around russian energy despite the recent cut off of the nord stream one pipeline and so forth. and certainly support from u.s. remains very strong and still
largely bipartisan, despite the caucus within the republican party. overall, obviously nato has been strengthened with sweden and finland joining. so putin is not achieving his objectives. wasn't just his initial objective of taking over all ukraine he is not a cheat. he hasn't even achieved his immediate objective laid out in april of taking all of don't ask. they have make any gains in the donbas jan that and now the ukrainians have the initiative. the ukrainians are on the offensive. i does what distressed were talking about what is the nature of the crane offensive very hard to see what other prospects but right now more than six months into the war the russians had suffered very heavy losses and the ukrainians are on the offensive and the ukrainians
have the momentum. and to get back to . general breedlove made, if we would just step up eight the to ukraink that could make dramatic gains on the ground. they are turned around this war with truth and 20 himars missions. imagine what they could do with 60 with f-16s, m1 tanks. we have all the stuff we should be getting it to the ukrainians. they can put it to very good use. i think they have elements right now i don't know the final outcome of the territory in ukraine but i think we can say that putin has not achieved his warnings. ukraine has basically won its war of independence and now the question is how much of its own territory will ukraine control? the question of whether the would be an independent pro-western democratic state in ukraine or not i don't think that is any longer on the table. i think ukraine has achieved a massive, massive victory in that
regard. >> super. thanks maxtor given such a clear consistent voice throughout this invasion and you and general breedlove and others have urged the administration to provide more and better weapons. at this an argument we keep hearing from the white house on the biden administration from the national security council, and that argument is russian escalation. the biden administration keeps insisting russia can escalate and we can't go to for and he keeps changing the red line. red line. we've seen them do it over and over again. what do you make sense, how do you respond to the escalation argument? >> i agree that we should not be sending u.s. troops to fight in ukraine, even though the soviets and the chinese certainly sent their forces to fight us in korea and vietnam and russians operating fighter aircraft shooting at americans and green so forth. i'm not advocating we do that but it think pretty much anything short of direct
military intervention is fair game. i don't understand the logic that says like we can send ukraine rockets with a range of like 40-50 ma spoke against an rockets with a range of 150-180 miles. so if we do the 50-mile rocket that's okay. if we do the 150, putin will launch world war iii. i don't see any invitation that putin is suicidal or he is about to launch a nuclear war. yes, he is evil and he is miscalculated. truthfully we miscalculated and our wars but is not a sign you are deranged or irrational. it just means you with a victim of very bad intelligence. i think the russians were victims of very bad intelligence. ukraine we have seen putin is made very rational moves once he saw kyiv was going to fall. he retreated and focus on donbas. he thought he could make gains. he has been i think in some ways
although the invasion of -- is an act of supreme evil, he has been largely somewhat fairly cautious and now he is been conducting himself. he has not been -- even though we know all the military inquiries come from countries like poland. is he attacking poland? no, because he doesn't want to start world war iii. again i don't think we need to worry too much about triggering putin by sending more military equipment. as long as we're not sending american troops. the ukrainians on ugly use the bomb. i think they need more of these capabilities to try to retake more of their lost territory. >> wonderful. general breedlove i saw youths shaking your head. i know you want to jump in an escalation. what else did max ms. are getting a lot. >> was i'm shaking my head up and down and electorate because i was agreeing with things he said and i was agreeing with things he said was wrong.
i'm in agreement with most of what max said. the bottom line is we are determined and mr. putin is doing a very good job of deterring us. and we have to figure out, one, how to get out from behind it. three president in the past have stood up to russia amongst every bit as tough a situation. we took almost of italian of troops off the face of the earth in northern syria. we flew release and supplies into georgia wow really there was a lot of war still being fought. we stood up in the cuban missile crisis and came out the of the site of that just fine. and i agree with max. i don't think that he is suicidal. we have to respect what he is saying but others have respected what the russians have said and they stepped out and taken those right steps. and i believe that as now two or three of us had said, the
ukrainian are succeeding in many ways, but we are very much throttling their approach to the war and doing that by limiting supplies et cetera, et cetera. and so i think that really what's happening right now is our policy decision more than anything else. >> thank you so much. andriy zagorodnyuk thank you for joining us. andriy was a former zelensky is first defense minister and a great friend of the atlantic council. hey, andriy. this is a question for you and dara. you guys are good specials on a russian army. i'd like to ask you andriy and then dara can you please assess the russian army six months in? many say their morale is breaking and no one wants to serve in ukraine. they argue russia is using old missiles and running out of equipment. that's one school of thought. other say russia as splenda
sophisticate or weapons but it hasn't moved in. how strong do we think is a russian side and how long can they hold out? >> so i think that truth is somewhere in the middle. we definitely can say russian armies are not completely exhausted no capabilities whatsoever. we see they been exhausting the stokes and parts of their world capability which they sent the ukraine because we have destroyed like an enormous amount of weapons. we are talking about hundreds of planes and thousands of vehicles and i know we see like tens of thousands casualties. at the same time they do currently higher new recruits. they bring in additional units and essentially all these targets which they put to the te generals come almost targets are delivered. they cannot say that they cannot
hire people. of course the devil is in the details and in our case come for us it's better because the forces that are shaping are very low. they also have some specific units which they hired literally from the street with no backgrounds, with no training and they trained them and they have national unions and they have units which are essentially like absolutely no -- [inaudible] and no background experience. have all kinds of options to avoid the fact that indeed there is no overwhelming desire of russian people to join the army. so i would say that indeed they certainly cannot escalate, they cannot double their efforts right now but i believe they can
continue with the current president of the troops. they can continue and have 150,000 troops around the ukraine in different operational direction for quite a long time. the good news is that the readiness of those troops and their training and capability generally, the level of let's say coolidge other capability will be lower and lower. so as this war goes of course they would be losing more people and that desire to join would be diminishing. i have to say that of course there also mobilizing offensive -- [inaudible] and what they do is disastrous and disgusting because her putting them on the front line, on the first line, and we already heard that in some cases
they were retreating and they were shot when they retreated. basically meaning they are throwing them in order to die first. and then the rest of the russian troops dissipate. but that's what is currently happening. now the question is about the statement that they still have a lot of sophisticated equipment. they do have a lot. they ran out of the caliber missiles to let's say 60% we believe. same thing with -- maybe have that same time based on quite a lot. at the same time they cannot completely deplete their stocks to ukraine. they cannot be in a situation that no weapons at all. of course they will keep reserves, keep the reserves on different parts of the world. they still try to maintain their global posture so that would be keeping present in central asia and so on and so on.
question is not like what russia has. question is like what russia can commit to ukraine. what they're happy to commit and what they can actually put in order to progress with this invasion effort. we believe they don't have enough to progress essentially. we are saying currently we manage to stop their advances and we believe that any case if we receive -- sorry, win. when we receive more weapons we will be able to boost in some directions quite well. i guess we are seeing currently like russian army quite devastated. it can't be underestimated but certainly not capable of doing like invading ukraine. so that's sort of massive target which was objective is unattainable at the moment as well. this -- i will very quickly, two
senses. of course this is completely very interesting because we essentially with a few ships which we know we can keep them basically in the harbor. so we exercised that access to no consequences were going to continue, i think the prospects of russian black sea fleet destroyed that. i think we can think of, we can see being like completely destroyed or diminished to the point that it plays a very limited role. it's optimistic but i think it's achievable. certainly they don't play that role which they planned to play originally. obviously the fact that we didn't allow them to get air superiority and we still our air defense is still reasonably capable and still doing some great job, i think it's remarkable. >> i'm going to stop you there.
dara, what did and the mess? anything else in your assessment of the russian military six months in? >> i agree with andriy on most of his assessment. i would note that all of russia's acute problems with personal shortages and moving some of the best equipment in early phases, expanding so many other hyper munitions they're trying to take plan b ad hoc way to overcome these challenges. they are trying between 90 different pools of people to try to fill these ranks comes fill spots on the front lines. their recruiting from prisons. there are rumors their recruiting from psychiatric institutions. it's just really trying to get bodies and put them on the front line, receiving anywhere up to four weeks of basic training at most. this is really not a successful way to solve this problem, as one might expect. i will allow them to replenish the current front lines but i shut the assessments of the group that this is not something
that is going to allow them to make really rapid gains forward. they just can't do it but there is an effort at replenishment underway. with respect to the equipment that they lost, , they really lt not only just the equipment itself but the best trained crews that operate them. so tanks, artillery, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, some of the best equipment just got out so shredded particularly up north. they can't readily recover from that. they do have thousands of equipment, pieces of equivalent stuck in storage for it's been sitting and open siberian fields for 15 years now. not all of it works. not all of it works well. they're probably going to start cannibalizing it for parts. they are trying upon equipment and putting it into ukraine. from the ukraine soldiers perspective adc russia as someone who can't draw of unlimited kind of armor to put against it but again is not going to be as effective. with respect to the missile
question, russia has plowed through some of its best precision strike munitions. they're trying to take different approaches to overcome that. repurposing air defense missiles and a land attack roll the lose a lot of accuracy switches the is even more collateral damage on unintended targets. you also see the russians dipping into the at the ship cruise missile inventory. that was a large stockpile, several thousand that are conventional and have pretty decent precision. position. they're going into that already. where it has been large and we see a big difference is an russian tactical aviation. their fighter aircraft are really, really low on tactical short range precision munitions. what you end up seeing as russian fighters flying very low to the ground firing off unguided rockets and banking out of there to try to avoid ukraine air defenses. this should of an russian airpower should have been a huge
advantage for russia in ukraine and are not able to make it happen. bottom line a lot of challenges, muddling through but they're putting, the russians are putting down markers that this is not over for them. they might have to extend their timelines, their objectives, but larger objectives remain unchanged. i, however, remain pretty pessimistic that the going to ever be able to achieve a larger objective for half the ukraine or kyiv, all of that even in the long-term, five to ten years out i can would be too much to ask. >> super helpful. to follow up an obvious question is what's the best they can do given all of the constraints you just outlined? can they take up to the -- in what you know about both sides can what's the best russia can do? >> what they think they can do is annex kherson oblast and my
view is a going to try exit into russia so that that will force sort of a shocked system, and that would impact the west willingness or desire to continue ukraine at current levels. that's what they think they will do. i see a lot of challenges for them right now, ticket with the defensive in cursive. there's a lot of mobile russian troops on the wrong side of the river. the bridges are blown. they are ferrying them across dozens of vehicles at a time ferrying them across the river. sometimes i wonder if i minute general staff wargame simulation. how did he get to this point for them? i do think that would be a challenge. they do not possess -- just yesterday they announced they were going to delay the referendum in kherson from september to november because
the security situation is so poor. so to me that's what victory looks like in the near term for ukraine. pushing it back, delaying the process, preventing them from feeling like they have a solidified -- >> wonderful, wonderful. vivian we have talked a lot about the nuclear power plant in zaporizhzhia. there's a couple of things that stand out. the russians keep trying to disconnected. and to get very close to scary situations with a don't have very much fuel to cool down the nuclear reactors. and the russians were also very oddly willing to cooperate with the international community. what you make of all of this? >> the russians like to demonstrate that they are cooperating with the international community because they don't want to have sort of that hanging over their heads, even though a lot of it is very superficial.
we saw even with some of the hostage negotiations and things like that with the u.n. had taken a role. they were open to that just because they do like to show even superficially that there were cooperating. so the iaea team were able to access the clip we are actually waiting for everything from them today to find out what their assessment is so that we could know the exact situation but obviously it's a very dire, very serious situation there where you have fighting near any nuclear plant. they were near chernobyl ezell earlier this you but chernobyl is not anywhere near as critical as the zaporizhzhia power plant. there's a lot of concern about any kind of damage, any kind of fighting near a nuclear power plant is something that is considered a very serious situation. theoretically the russians also know that even though they would be happy to foment any kind of
chaos to tip the scales in your favor. they do appear to understand that any kind of damage to nuclear plant would not bode well for their efforts as well. we even saw it in chernobyl earlier this year where they allowed the ukraine in specialist to stay there basically as hostages but allow them to stay there because they recognize they couldn't operate the plant on their own and did not want anything to go wrong. so there is a sense the russians do recognize the stakes, albeit they're going to blame the ukrainians for being the ones to cause the destruction around the plant which is pretty laughable. and so that's sort of where we stand now. it will be interesting to see what the iaea teams come out with following their visit this week, but the situation is pretty dire and whether or not the plant can stay online, that is a big concern. it's a down to the sort of its
last legs as far as operation goes. the impact of that could be really critical. not just for ukraine but the whole of europe and so that's why they're so much concern across the continent about the outcome, the situation of the security of that plant. >> wonderful. max i want to trade you for a couple people ask a bunch of comments about congress. you are so clear on this. could you please explain why ukraine is, supportive ukraine is in america's national interest? its 5000 miles away and win big midterm elections coming up soon. do you expect support for ukraine to remain strong after these elections? what do you think? there some polling the shows are some serious differences when it comes to the sport. bob mccullough put a bunch of republicans vote against the $40 billion bill so tell us we think things are going politically. >> to answer the first part first i agree, the u.s. has a
massive stake in the outcome of the war, which can be boiled down to do we want to live in a world which is where the rule of law governed are what you want to live according to the law of the jungle? that is basically what we're talking about. as of the very the post-1945 war and europe that putin is on the money, attacking notches ukraine piggies attacking the very principle that borders will not be changed by force and that nations can be free from aggression from their neighbors. and so if we allow going to get away with what he's doing integrate will not only how to be a terrible tragic for ukraine and we're seeing the russians are committing horrific war crimes all over the country, it's a humanitarian tragedy and nightmare the likes of which europe has not seen since world war ii. but be on debt the horrible tragedy for the people of ukraine. this would be a tragedy for the people of europe especially for
eastern european states which are next going to be an russia's sites. he's not going to be satisfied with taking ukraine as part of this project of resurrecting the russian/soviet empire. a lot of countries and currently so many of these people are of the soviet empire which are going to be in putin's crosshairs if he went and ukraine, which is not going to do. if you were and he would also send horrible message to countries like china which are contemplating their own attack on taiwan which is a war that could drag u.s. into world war iii. put can get away with what he's doing and ukraine i could go get a signal to china they can get away with anything they wanted in taiwan. conversely it would show no, the entire civilized world the west is united in stopping russia that it will be defeated. i think that will send a very positive message that aggression is not favor the rule of law still means something and that
there is still the unity and coherence in the west to stand up for our shared trays of manic ideals. so the stakes could not possibly be higher. this is probably the most consequential conflict since 1945 and really the future shape of europe is being determined on the battlefields of ukraine right now. the ukrainians are fighting and dying for the police and ideals that all of us in the transatlantic have. in terms of what is going to be impact of midterms and how does the republican party stand, i have some concerns because right now the support has been very bipartisan. i think there is a democratic republican consensus pick you seen the giant aid bills providing far more support among the anybody else. they had not been controversial. congress has actually put more money and an abiding administration ask for but there is that pro-russia caucus and the two most important and influential leaders on the right
in america are basically pro-putin. by that i i mean donald trump and tucker carlson. they are both spreading pro-putin pro-russia propaganda, tucker in particular and he is the most watched cable host in america. and there is that kind of ultra maga caucus that's in the republican party that for whatever reason you can debate why but they love putin, they think he's a a champion of christianity and one civilization, and there are also isolationist severe post to america 80 our allies. that's kind of another subset of republicans were not isolationists that are so focused on taiwan and china that they think we should be doing anything that would detract from china and taiwan. missing the big picture can which like the best thing we can do is say save taiwan, save ukraine and make russia pay a massive price for its aggression. so i'm so far everything is been
pretty much kumbaya in congress. everybody almost anybody aside from the hard-core ultra maga wing especially house of representatives republican congress but unconcerned about what happens after november particularly if republicans take over the house, if the maga caucus grows that will put more pressure and kevin mccarthy not to provide aid to ukraine. one thing that we know that kevin mccarthy is he is very weak, he is cowardly. he refused to stand up to trump and his maga caucus. and so if trump and his crew apply enough pressure this could come off boards which i think it's incredibly important for congress to approve another large aid bill to ukraine before the new congress is seated. right now it's going to be the optimal time for find bipartisan support for ukraine's struggle for freedom. >> great point.
my friends come with 16 16 m. we have 74 questions. we are going to do this. i would ask you to unmute or so and going to direct the question at you and you'll be so short and sweet. you're going to all get a plusses. try to i'm scared. two senses. what to expect the russians to do this winter? should we expect attacks on critical infrastructure in heating facilities or are you expecting something else? >> we should expect that yes. there's a very high rate they will do that and it will. also we should expect them to do massive information in the war in europe by developing their strategic and using that persuasion from the price and so on. we have to resist this by all means. >> super. general breedlove jubilate ukraine might receive f-16 from either u.s. or another ally? >> not in the short term. we need to get started now. training and doing the things that will enable ukraine to move
into a fourth and fifth generation air force. for that matter all their combined arms business. we want ukraine to be a great combined arms military. >> super thank you. i'm not sure who wants national please regime. what was the rational fronting the counter offensive networks no military experts as the ukraine's had enough equipment in order to be successful. who wants that? >> i think that we just need to do this as soon as we can because simply there is the time doesn't work for ukraine. as soon as we have the capacity to put russians out of ukraine territory we should use. i'm not saying we should hurry. no way i'm saying we should do it at any cost. should be really careful but if there is an opportunity we need to use it because basically it's important for us.
>> dara, this is for you. you mention russia is going to stock up at the ship missiles. g-men for land targets? can you clarify? >> antiship cruise missiles are primarily for sea targets but they're taking them and turning them around and find them backwards onto the land. that taking existing stock repurchasing the targeting. >> thank you. a plus. vivian the nuclear plant do you see any merit to the argument putin is semi-suicidal using the possibly to black build the web? in the iaea visit becomes the estimate of this. russia's cooperation with the visit. what do you make of that from john wise? >> honestly if i could read vladimir putin's might i would be a wealthy woman so i will rely on experts here who all said they don't believe he is suicidal or trying that. vladimir putin oldham has only one ukraine in his orbit and is trying to use whatever tools he can whether or not he would
actually do do something to the power plant to the worst-case scenario, i find a really hard to believe but also found heartedly he would go after kyiv in the first place and here we are. i do not think that would be the ultimate goal. i think you would love to use as a threat but not an actual tactic. whether or not he does when it remains to be seen. >> super thanks. max question for you. are we doing enough to develop parts of her own defense industry that takes into account long-term demand from the ukrainian war? general wesley clark says no. what are your views? >> we need to ramp up production. we need to be less conservative in our estimate of what we need for stockpiles because there's a tendency to be conservative and the pentagon is it a we can'd all these munitions. we need them ourselves. the reality is we are not going to be using, not going to be attacking somebody with himars anytime soon. we need to push everything we can to the ukraine is now and
build more to back fill the stockpiles and that's what we ought to be doing. >> general breedlove i see your fingers and want to ask you. go ahead and i will ask you. >> just to add to what max just said. not only do we need to think about our stockpiles but we need to think about our capacity. the way that we find defense spending for things like weapons -- fund -- at the minimalist approach and there's no extra. if you want to have the ability to expand, we need to signal to the industry that we need more and we need to find or create funding streams that allow industry to buy that excess capacity. >> super. here's your question. how likely is it the russian military will simply collapsed as an effective fighting force this winter? what your ratio? >> i think they're going to last a lot longer in winter because what we would haven't talked
about is people always talk about this long war. i believe right now russia is focus on the winter because they need to separate the european people from european governments. and so they need to make european people called and have no seating and/or and noo that they will then ring pressure against their governments. i think a part of what you see by russian out there right now is giving up and losing a lot of capability to hold on to winter to try to win this in a political sense. >> thank you so much for bringing that in. there's an article that suggests meteorologists or singer looks like it's going to be a warm winter. maybe a little tougher. although ukrainians are warning it would be a cold winter in ukraine's i'm not sure who to believe. the ukraine's our single out and buy long, long underwear and get ready. we will see. let's see, next question.
could russia defeat the counter by falling back and flanking them and they are exposed? >> well, we certainly can say that we know exactly which capabilities they have. we know how many, people and so once i don't think they can do things like super unexpected to us. so the short answer is no. i don't think they can do any type maneuvers of that and really expect us to sort of to be trapped or anything. >> thank you. vivian how effective are the russians bennett shooting down himars rockets are jamming their signal? >> not the himars. the himars have been extremely effective so far as far as russians kind of countering it. as far as the learning curve for the ukrainians, there's deathly a learning curve. one of the things i kept hearing on the front lines is a lot of
these front-line soldiers, they hear the himars are coming and very encouraging bit of information but they have never used western equipment before. most of these guys never touched anything but soviet era equipment so the whole idea of a mid-war zaporizhzhia to some sophisticate you a systems were talking to them when they're in the middle of this intense battle, special with himars the required weeks of training. that's the challenge on ukraine sets of russian so far seem to have been alluded by the himars but also keep in mind that are not that many on the ground yet. the targets are few and the ukrainians have been good at disguising the himars when you're not in use. as far as we have heard nothing so far but that doesn't mean they won't figure it out when there are more himars on the ground. >> thanks so much. general breedlove can you get into putin's mine for a minute? is it accurate to say if the russians can't conquer ukraine the areas they outline the want
that they will do the method on kyiv? why have they taken zelensky out and why haven't they done to kyiv what the did the merry opal? >> there's a difference between merry opal which is very close to their lines, very easy to get to and as we saw the world is not paying attention to ukraine's who did a magnificent job of building a defensive depth north of trent in making much tougher to take than that flatter land and access by the sea in the south. frankly i don't think the have the force right now to even think about kyiv. they are struggling to do what they want to do in the south so i think that they've learned their lessons in kyiv. some call it an operational loss. some call it a strategic loss. in either case it had a huge impact on russia and its military capabilities your i
don't see kyiv on the table ever. >> thank you get one more question for you. how optimistic is it that even with more u.s. made weapons say 60 himars ukraine can retake all the territory occupied since fibber 24th in a reasonable period of time? >> it would take more than just the himars. i mean, and part of the problem here is the ukrainians have proven as wrong over and over. they can assimilate high in technology rather quickly -- high-end. we need to start somewhere preparing them for the ability to retake that land. can we do in the next month or two? maybe not but we can make a huge impact on this counter offensive if we take the policy decision now to give them the right kit at the right place at the right time in order to affect this counter offensive. [inaudible]
i've heard that a few times. i like that. max question for you. how can you claim the ukrainians have already won? could this we can resolve and help from the outside if this is repeated again and again? a challenge to you. go ahead, max. >> they won because i think nobody really thinks the russians are going to roll to kyiv any time in the foreseeable future and death ukrainians have much greater resiliency and strength than anybody expected, and the russians have proven much less militarily effective that i think people expected. so at this point i think it is the case that putin probably holds hope that at some point in future they will abandon ukraine and eventually he will be able to bludgeon the ukrainians down and you will be able to march into odessa, cut them off from the black sea. these are probably some of the dream act and dreams putin holds but i don't think there's an realistic prospect that they
will achieve that. i think it's still under threat and still fighting but its viability as a state is not even in question right now. >> super thank you. tell us about the impact of weapons been provided to ukraine by other states other than the u.s. -- being super helpful from poland, , france, germany, from estonia, slovakia, go ahead. >> every nation which supplies even a small dasher i'm a huge believer of the critical mass concept that a think we will be able, we were able to change the dynamic of the war after we reached a certain number of equipment, and so currently there are countries which is contributing to this. there's been a collective. so in a way it's like crowdsourcing, crowdfunding mission. any input is great. even when there are some nations
which are run out of their own equipment so they end up providing funding. and then there are some nations which are crowdsourcing with their own people and then they go and buy like, for example, -- [inaudible] exited. there are different ways which people injured and other countries are doing in order to help us in this is amazing for but also right now there's a new challenge coming that a sustaining the capability. there's a question about how to we repair equipment, how do we service and so on. there are some countries which are helping with this and yeah, so that's basically a new phase of this equipment aboard essential. >> there's a great paper in think tank in london put out about all the systems. dara, beyond kherson, what you think the priority will be in the next couple of weeks, this
fall? >> i think they've been a really good job of attacking behind the lines going into crimea i think was completely unexpected for the russians. they were not prepared for the outcome. it took them a few weeks to cover for that at a think there strangler now they have more air defense going over the critical facilities. unexpected uses of weapons is also having an impact. the ukrainians are using missiles and putting it in aircraft and using them to target russian air defenses. there is a mass problem on the ukrainian side of the big large armored counter defensive but these attacks in targeted areas are being really effective. i think they should continue along those lines. >> general breedlove can you please help us. tell us a bit about ukraine's this board capability, how is ukraine trying to ensure error r cover, if any? >> well, you missed a great conversation this morning about their denial, which is what ukraine has done magnificently.
it's a new term so the have thought it in that way but they have given russia fits and being effective with their airpower over ukraine. so we would want that to continue. if you're following the number of sorties flown by the ukraine air source, it is surge in the last several days. much higher than say three weeks ago. so they are trying now to tie that airpower to the ground maneuver. that is combined arms warfare that we have seen out of the russians. and so i believe that we see a growing understanding and capability of what that combined arms attack with their supporting the ground means to this war, and hope to see much more of that from the ukrainian air force. >> wonderful. general breedlove there was another question for you. can you give us the best arguments for why we should give weapons to ukraine? why we should give aid? what are the most winning
argument? >> i think max sits on the most important things in the beginning. first of all they are fighting for values just like our values. we all do not believe that russia can take its military force and cross internationally recognized borders at will and change the map of europe, and that's what they've done twice in ukraine and once in georgia since 2008 and we don't stand for that. ukraine is a huge, important to the world and to our economies. we used a flat every rocket shot we ever flew on a ukrainian motor. we had motor seats putting out some of the best motors out there and that's why china is trying to buy motor seats. this is a country, people don't understand how important ukraine is to the world. not only the west. you'd have to look very much farther than the green to see what it means to the southern
half of the world. there's a list too long to cover. but ukraine is important not only to us but to the entire world. >> thank you so much for unfortunately we did not make it. i ate them are questions we have to get you. thank you so much of general breedlove, dara, vivian, max and the great andriy zagorodnyuk. if you do not follow them on twitter get on twitter now. they're all on twitter for active and ellen interesting opinions and i learned so much today from all of you. thank you for your reporting. thank you for your analysis. thank you for sharing your time. let's >> at the request of the united states, the united nations meets to discuss the forced displacement of ukrainians from their homes due to rusher's
invasion of the country. you can also watch on our free mobile video app, c-span now, or online at c-span.org. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including comcast. >> you think this is just a community center? no, it's way more than that. >> comcast is partnering with 1000 community centers so students and low income families can get the tools they need for anything. >> comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> up next, we hear from outgoing british prime minister boris johnson and his successor liz truss, followed by president biden meeting with his cabinet at the white house and later, the white house covid-19 response team gives an update on the distribution of new vaccines for the fall.
>> outgoing british prime minister boris johnson urged conservative party members to end the politics and support the new incoming leader liz truss. in his farewell speech she touted his party's accomplishment including low unemployment and handling the coronavirus. the prime minister announced his resignation in july after controversy over parties at 10 downing street during the covid-19 restrictions. [applause] mr. johnson: thank you. well, this is p.m. johnson: thank you. well, this is it, folks. thank you, everybody for coming out so early this morning. and only a couple of hours i will be in -- to see her majesty the queen, and the torch will
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