The US Army’s top-ranking officer, Gen Mark Milley, has suggested that Ukraine’s ongoing offensive may face challenges in the coming 30 days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Speaking on the BBC’s “Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg” program, Gen Milley acknowledged that the offensive had progressed slower than anticipated but emphasized that heavy fighting was ongoing.
While he couldn’t definitively say whether the counter-offensive had failed, Gen Milley noted that Ukraine continued to make steady progress through the Russian front lines. He estimated that there remained about 30 to 45 days of favorable fighting weather, indicating that Ukraine had not completed its mission.
Kyiv’s counter-offensive, launched in the summer with the goal of reclaiming Russian-occupied territory, has yielded modest gains thus far. Ukrainian military leaders claim to have breached Russia’s formidable initial defenses in the south.
Gen Milley characterized the conflict as long, slow, challenging, and with a high casualty rate, echoing his initial assessment. In the same interview, Adm Sir Tony Radakin, the UK’s chief of defense staff, expressed the belief that “Ukraine is winning, and Russia is losing.” He attributed this outcome to Russia’s unsuccessful attempt to subjugate Ukraine and its inability to control the country.
Adm Radakin further highlighted Ukraine’s progress in regaining territory, citing that they had recovered 50% of the land seized by Russia. He credited this success to international economic and diplomatic pressure applied to Russia, which had adverse effects on Russia’s economy.
The interview also touched on Vladimir Putin’s alliance with North Korea, seen by Adm Radakin as a reflection of Russia’s desperation. The alliance raises concerns about potential arms deals between the two nations and increased military cooperation in Asia.
Addressing the question of former President Donald Trump, Gen Milley emphasized the military’s allegiance to the constitution, regardless of who occupies the White House. He stated that they would faithfully uphold the constitution and follow lawful orders from the duly-elected president of the United States.
Gen Milley concluded by ruling out any political aspirations for himself, jokingly suggesting that he would “run for best grandad” after retiring in a few weeks.