Austin says end of Russia's war in Ukraine will be defined by Ukrainians

At a press conference on Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the U.S. will continue to support the Ukrainian government and that the end of the conflict “will be defined by the Ukrainians, and not by us.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley added that the U.S. wants to uphold a rules-based international order in which “the powerful and the big can’t just destroy and invade the weak and the small.”

Video Transcript

- General Petraeus famously said of the Iraq War, "Tell me how this ends." So with the Ukraine war, how does this end? Is it pushing the Russians back to pre-invasion borders? Is it pushing the Russians completely out of Ukraine, as British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said? Or is it somewhere in the middle?

LLOYD AUSTIN: Tom, our effort is to do everything that we can to strengthen Ukraine's hands on the battlefield and also at the negotiation table. And so we're going to stick with doing everything we can to make sure that they achieve their objectives. At the end of the day, what this looks like, what end state looks like will be defined by the Ukrainians and not by us. And so we'll leave that up to President Zelenskyy and his leadership to talk about how this transitions.

MARK MILLEY: I would just echo exactly what he said. The end state is defined by the political leadership, and in this case, President Zelenskyy is going to define the end state inside the boundaries of Ukraine. For the broader globe, we want to continue to support Ukraine their defending their country. We want to make sure NATO is unified. We want to uphold the concept that there's a rules based international order and the powerful and the big can't just destroy and invade the weak and the small.