NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg continues to place his bets on the progress of the Ukrainian armed forces against Russian troops. In an interview with the German News Agency, Stoltenberg emphasized the unpredictable nature of wars, stating, “We need to be prepared for the long term. The outcomes of wars are inherently unpredictable… but what we do know is that what happens at the negotiation table is closely linked to the situation on the battlefield.” He added that military support is crucial for ensuring Ukraine remains a sovereign and democratic state and is the only way to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that he cannot win on the battlefield.
Stalemate in Ground War and Risks
General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, highlighted last week that the ground war in Ukraine has reached a deadlock. In an article for ‘The Economist,’ he warned of the prolonged and risky nature of trench warfare, posing significant dangers to the Ukrainian armed forces and the state itself.
Stoltenberg on War Complexities and Russian Defenses
Stoltenberg acknowledged the complexities of the conflict, noting that Russia had fortified its defense lines over months with mines, anti-tank barriers, and numerous defensive positions. Despite these challenges, he pointed out that Ukrainians had managed to reclaim territories.
NATO and German Military Support
Stoltenberg met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin and is scheduled to hold talks with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. He commended the German military support but remained non-committal on whether Germany should also provide Ukraine with German-made ‘Taurus’ cruise missiles, a request repeatedly denied by Scholz. Stoltenberg stated, “The type of systems to be delivered is ultimately a national decision. I welcome Britain and France delivering cruise missiles,” while highlighting Germany’s provision of other essential weapons, including tanks and effective air defense systems.
Putin’s Military Meetings
Russian President Vladimir Putin, with top military leaders including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valerii Gerasimov, reviewed the war in Ukraine, as reported by Reuters. The Kremlin released images of Putin meeting with Shoigu, Gerasimov, and General Sergei Rudskoi, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, at the Southern Military District headquarters in Rostov.
The Kremlin stated that new models of military equipment were presented to the supreme commander, and Putin listened to reports on the progress of the special military operation. Last month, Putin visited the military headquarters in Rostov, from where an incomplete rebellion led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia’s private military company ‘Wagner Group’, was launched in June.