White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday the Ukrainians “are winning the war” in the northern part of their country but the overall war is nowhere near won.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Klain said Ukrainian forces “are winning the war around Kyiv and the northern part of the country” but the withdrawal of Russian forces from those areas is most likely a strategic redeployment by President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s military commanders.
“There’s a lot of evidence that Putin is simply taking his troops out of the northern part of the country to redeploy them to the eastern part of the country,” Klain told host George Stephanopoulos.
He added: “There have been victories for the Ukrainians so far, but this war, sadly, is far from over.”
Klain said the Ukrainians have fought bravely and valiantly in fending off Russia invaders. He also said the United States and its NATO allies have to continue to support President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his nation’s military.
“The military future of this attack has to be pushed back,” he said. “That’s why we’re doing so much to back President Zelenskyy and his military with the tools they need, with the weapons they need, with the other aid they need to oust the Russian invasion from their country.”
Speaking later on the same program, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said he was curious to know what Putin thought of Ukraine’s robust resistance to February’s invasion.
“What would be interesting, I think, would be to know,” Blunt said, “was whether Putin was more surprised by the incredible resistance of the Ukrainians; the rallying around of NATO to the original and unified purpose of NATO, particularly the German change in attitude; or how poorly his own military has performed. I’m sure he’s surprised by all three of those.”
Blunt added: “I don’t think anybody could have anticipated those three big events.”