Pentagon lauds Ukraine’s ‘miraculous’ battles against entrenched Russians
US Defence Department spokesman Pat Ryder. Photo: Pentagon / Alexander Kubitza

The United States is recognising the difficulties Ukrainian troops are facing in the counteroffensive against Russia’s occupying forces, but commends the progress they have already made, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said on Thursday.

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Speaking at a press conference, Mr Ryder said Ukrainians were "in a tough fight", and the US and Ukraine have "known from the beginning that, regardless of when any counter-offensive started, it was going to be a tough fight". 

"So that's why you hear us say and it has the benefit of being true that we're going to continue to work with them to provide them with the capabilities they need, to include training," he added.

"Let's take a step back here and recognize that this is a less than ideal situation. Nobody in their right mind ever would have wished that Russia would have invaded Ukraine but they did.

"And the Ukrainians, against all odds, were able to push the Russians back into a defensive position, which in and of itself is miraculous, given the state of the Ukrainian military as Russia invaded.

The Pentagon spokesman noted that Ukrainian troops "in a very short period of time" were able to develop and implement outstanding capabilities and achieve outstanding results in a far from ideal situation.

"Going forward, we're going to continue to consult with them, we're going to continue to provide them training so that they can take back sovereign territory and ultimately win this fight."