U.S. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby is confident all equipment supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) is used by the Ukrainian side properly and without any abuse.
"We are working very, very hard to make sure that every system that is provided to Ukraine, there's a measure of accountability for it. That we can assure the Congress and the American people that that materiel is being used appropriately on the field of battle. And we've seen no indication that there's been some widescale corruption or misuse by the Ukrainian military," Kirby said in an interview just published on the White House website.
He said the United States has added individuals to its team in Kyiv specifically for accountability purposes.
"And the Ukrainians understand our need for accountability. They share that, and they have made it clear that they're willing to work with us on accountability measures for all the systems that are being provided," the U.S. National Security Council coordinator said.
According to Kirby, all equipment supplied to Ukraine is provided "with thoughtful deliberation based on what they say they need in the moment and in coming weeks."
"And we've seen that with every package that we've delivered… In many cases, this stuff is going right from the trucks and the trains to the hands of a soldier on the battlefield – not every one, but oftentimes, it's that fast. They are using these things appropriately in defense of their country," he said.
When asked how much of the equipment supplied to Ukraine by the United States was damaged by the Russian occupiers, a representative of the National Security Council said "that's a better question put to the Ukrainian defense forces, not the United States."
Kirby also could not confirm that the United States plans to dispose of several hundred "expired ATACMS" that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested, answering "that's really a better question put to the Department of Defense."
At the same time, when asked whether U.S. President Joseph Biden supported the confiscation of Russian frozen assets totaling $300 billion to help Ukraine, he replied: "We're still talking to partners about what reconstruction and recovery needs to look like in Ukraine after the war. But obviously, our main focus right now is helping them in this fight against Russian aggression."
Assessing the performance of the Russian occupation forces in Ukraine, Kirby said: "When they engage the Ukrainian forces on the ground, they're not having much success. For so-called ballyhooed counteroffensive that they were going to launch themselves, they've really achieved nothing in recent weeks and months."
He said Russia continues to launch drone and missile strikes, including ballistic ones, against targets inside Ukraine, including not only military but also civilian targets.
"For all the ballyhoo that I heard in the last few days about Mr. Putin in some press reports that he’s all of a sudden willing to negotiate, he sure doesn’t act like a guy who's willing to negotiate. He's doing everything he can to try to put the Ukrainians on their back feet, which is why it's so important that the supplemental funding request that the President put forward gets passed. We have given now Ukraine the last security assistance package that we have funds to support right before New Year's, right after Christmas. And we've got to get support from Congress so we can continue to do that," Kirby said.
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