The Defense Department posted an interview with a Pentagon official, who spelled out how if the United States stops funding Ukraine’s war with Russia, it will lead to Ukraine’s losing the Battle of Avdiivaka—two days before Russian troops entered the city in Ukraine’s contested Donbus region on Saturday.

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My RedState colleague streiff covered the fall of the city in greater detail in his new piece.


READ: Putin’s War, Week 103. Avdiivka Abandoned


“If Ukraine fails because we fail to provide them with security assistance, the costs are high for Europe, for the United States, and for the world — higher than the cost of security assistance today,” said the official in a DOD article dropped Friday, as security leaders from the United States, NATO, and affiliated countries and NGO’s gathered for the Munich Security Conference held over the weekend.

It is also related to the inability of the Ukrainian lobby and Capitol Hill supporters to pass a new Ukrainian aid bill, the official said:

The official said the lack of a supplemental is already impacting Ukraine. 

In the strategic city of Avdiivka in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces are running short of ammunition and other critical supplies, and the city is at risk of soon falling into Russian hands, the official said. 

“We see this as something that could be the harbinger of what is to come if we do not get this supplemental funding—because without supplemental funding, not only can we not resupply those forces that are bravely trying to defend Avdiivka, we also will find many other locations along the forward line of troops that will be running low on supplies of critical ammunition,” the official said. 

Also, without supplemental funding, Ukraine will not have adequate air defense interceptors to defend its cities, critical infrastructure, and forward line of troops against the continual barrage of Russian missiles, the official said. 

The official also said that besides Avdiivka, other areas will also fall as Ukrainian forces run out of ammunition and air-defense capabilities.

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The official was not named, but the Pentagon included a photo of Army Secretary Christine E. Wormuth meeting with American and Ukrainian soldiers Thursday at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. The official’s statements also comport with the remarks attributed to the secretary in a US Army Europe and Africa release also dropped Friday—though those attributed remarks were less dire and direct.

Roughly one-third of Avdiivaka residents identify as Russians, but more than 85 percent of the population speaks Russian as their tongue of choice. The breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic claimed the city, but until the most recent developments, the city’s participation in the republic had been strictly notional.

The fall of Avdivada comes roughly one week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired his overall military commander, Gen. Valerii “The Iron General” Zaluzhnyi, and replaced him with Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskii.

The industrial city’s fall also comes one week short of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians in Donbas and Crimea under cultural and military attack after their de facto, if not de jure, secession.

In the Pentagon article, the unnamed official tied the fight in Ukraine to American security: “Without the supplemental funding, DOD also faces resource gaps in support for its own forces deployed in Europe.”

Wormuth visited the Lucius D. Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany, and the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Wednesday and Thursday. 

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US personnel are training Ukrainian soldiers at the Grafenwoehr site. “Kaserne” is the German word for barracks, and the Clay Karerne is the Army’s European and African headquarters.

“The world is watching, both our friends and foes,” the secretary said in the press release from the Army’s European and African command.

She continued: 

What the United States and its Army have done and continue to do to support Ukraine matters – to Ukraine, to our NATO Allies, and to the United States. Standing up for Ukrainian sovereignty strengthens deterrence against Putin’s unprovoked aggression in Europe.

This was Wormuth’s fourth trip to Germany, and after touring the various Army facilities and meeting with her soldiers, the secretary traveled to the Munich Security Conference with Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commanding general of Army Europe-Africa, who is dual-hatted also as NATO’s commander of Allied Land Command.