(CNSNews.com) - National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, asked on Wednesday if Ukraine is winning the war that has so much western military support, said, "it depends."
Kirby gave multiple interviews, including one on Fox News, after President Joe Biden announced the U.S. will provide Ukraine with 31 highly sophisticated Abrams tanks -- a move the Biden administration initially resisted.
Following lengthy negotiations with Germany, however, the U.S. finally agreed to send its Abrams tanks, a condition Germany demanded before sending its own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Fox News's Martha MacCallum noted that "the Russians are digging in...building miles and miles of trenches" in eastern Ukraine, and still pouring soldiers onto the battlefield.
"So, at this moment, is Ukraine winning? Are they...at an advantage still in this war?" she asked.
"Oh, I mean, I think, if you just look at the 11 months here, Ukraine, no question that they have had extraordinary success on the battlefield," Kirby said.
"But what about right now?" MacCallum asked.
"Every day is different on the battlefield," Kirby said:
"It depends on where you're asking me. Are you -- are we talking about Bakhmut? Well, the Russians have made some incremental progress in Bakhmut.
“But, in the south, they took back Kherson; they pushed the Russians back across the river. And they have maintained them there. The Russians are largely in what we call defense-in-depth down in south.
"But the war changes every day. It is -- the fighting is live today, and it's violent today. And Putin continues to strike at civilian targets from the air. So, there's a lot going on. But to look at the broad sweep here, 11 months into this war, you can't but say that the Ukrainians have been brave and skillful and have accomplished an awful lot.
“I mean, there was predictions that Kyiv was going to fall in three to four days. And it never fell. So--"
MacCallum also asked Kirby about Russia's anger regarding the tank announcement, wondering if there's a concern about the potential for retaliatory terror attacks in Europe or the United States.
"We are always concerned about the safety and security, certainly, of our personnel overseas," Kirby said. "And I know other nations share that concern with their citizens, of course.
"And we work as closely as we can with the intelligence community and with our allies and partners to stay vigilant to those kinds of threats. So, we absolutely -- that is something that is on our radar, and we're -- and we're mindful of, of course."