PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, in the midst of a whirlwind overseas trip with other top senators, said Wednesday he believes the war in Ukraine is approaching a pivotal moment.

“The next several months are going to be critical,” Reed said in a conference call from India, the latest stop on a trip that is also taking him to Germany, Pakistan and Israel. He added, “Every day is critical there.”

Reed is traveling alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is making a rare trip overseas. Their first stop was at the Munich Security Conference, an influential annual gathering of Western defense leaders, where Reed said the support for Ukraine from other Europeans was “not only great but inspiring.”

The Russian military is massing “a significant number of troops” as President Vladimir Putin prepares a new push into Ukraine, said Reed, who has been closely involved in American strategy as chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

“But the Ukrainians are preparing a significant offensive,” he said, “and if this offensive is successful at breaking through the Russian lines and then exploiting that breakthrough and disrupting the Russian presence in Ukraine, that’s going to have huge ramifications for the future of this war.”

The U.S. and its NATO allies are continuing to provide the Ukrainians with massive military support to help them fight back, he said.

“If this is successful, I think we’ll be in a position where the leverage shifts to Ukraine,” he said. “Now, that’s not going to say that Putin throws up his hands and says, ‘Oh, I made a mistake – I’m leaving.’ But what I think it does is it unleashes forces in Russia and also just the sense that their military forces are being decimated.”

“That I think could lead to discussions,” Reed continued. “But one thing we do not want is the Russians saying, ‘Time out – so we can regroup and attack two or three years from now.’ We want a settlement in which Ukraine’s sovereignty is protected.”

Reed is expected back in Rhode Island on Sunday.

Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook