BERLIN – The commander of U.S. Army Europe says there's no expectation Ukraine could defeat Russia militarily if given American weapons, but that they would add "muscle" to diplomatic efforts.
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said Tuesday in Berlin that helping Ukraine with weapons would increase the stakes for Russian President Vladimir Putin at home. He added that "when mothers start seeing sons come home dead, when that price goes up, then that domestic support begins to shrink." He said Ukraine wants "is intelligence, counter-fire capability and something that can stop a Russian tank."
The White House still hasn't decided whether to send arms to Ukraine, and Hodges reiterated the U.S. was looking for a diplomatic solution.
Hodges estimated Russia has 29,000 troops in Crimea and 12,000 in eastern Ukraine.