(breitbart) – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “probably given up” on attempting to capture the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv.
“Putin thought he could really rapidly take over the country of Ukraine, very rapidly take over the capital city; he was wrong,” Austin testified during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
“I think Putin has probably given up on his effort to capture the capital city and is now focused on the south and east of the country,” he added.
Austin’s comments come after Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Sky News in a rare concession that Russia has experienced “significant losses of troops,” since invading Ukraine on February 24th, labeling the loses a “huge tragedy.” Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced on March 25th that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 had been wounded since the invasion.
The U.N. General Assembly has voted to suspend Russia from the U.N.’s leading human rights body over allegations of horrific rights violations by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, which the United States and Ukraine have called tantamount to war crimes.
Russia is the second country to have its membership rights stripped at the Human Rights Council, which was established in 2006. In 2011, the assembly suspended Libya when upheaval in the North African country brought down longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The vote on Thursday was 93-24 with 58 abstentions.