The US military chief Gen Mark Milley, has predicted that Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russia may come to an end in a month owing to harsh weather conditions.
In an interview with the BBC’s Sunday program hosted by Laura Kuenssberg, Gen Milley expressed concerns that the approaching colder conditions would severely impede Ukraine’s ability to maneuver on the battlefield.
While acknowledging that the counter-offensive had progressed more slowly than anticipated, Gen Milley emphasized that heavy fighting was still underway. He stated, “The Ukrainians are still making steady progress,” and noted that it was premature to declare the counter-offensive a failure.
Instead, he asserted that Ukraine was steadily advancing through Russian front lines, with an estimated 30 to 45 days of favorable fighting weather remaining.
Ukraine’s counter-offensive, initiated during the summer with the objective of liberating Russian-occupied territories, has thus far achieved limited gains. Nonetheless, Ukrainian military leaders claim to have breached Russia’s formidable initial defenses in the southern region.
Gen Milley had previously cautioned that the conflict would be protracted, arduous, and result in significant casualties, and he reiterated this assessment during the interview.
In the same interview, Adm Sir Tony Radakin, the UK’s Chief of Defence Staff, voiced optimism about Ukraine’s progress, asserting that “Ukraine is winning, and Russia is losing.” He attributed Ukraine’s resilience to the failure of Russia’s attempt to subjugate the country, as well as international economic and diplomatic pressure, which has caused hardship for Russia.
Adm Radakin also highlighted Russia’s desperate overtures toward North Korea, characterizing them as a reflection of Russia’s isolation and economic woes.
The planned meeting between North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Vladimir Putin to discuss weapons support for Russia’s efforts in Ukraine raised concerns in Washington and Seoul regarding potential military cooperation between the two nations in Asia.
Adm Radakin stated that this alliance was a consequence of Russia’s ill-fated invasion of Ukraine and its domestic challenges.
Shifting to domestic US politics, Gen Milley affirmed that the loyalty of the US military was pledged to the Constitution.
When asked about the possibility of serving a commander-in-chief who might be incarcerated, referring to former President Donald Trump’s legal issues, Gen Milley underscored that their oath was to the Constitution of the United States.
He emphasized that the military would faithfully adhere to the Constitution, irrespective of the occupant of the White House.