The top-ranking American military officer says that Ukraine has more than 30 days left for the fight before the weather hinders its counterattack.
Speaking with the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg program, General Mark Milley said that cold conditions would make it challenging for Ukraine to conduct military exercises.
He admitted that the invasion had slowed down more than expected. However, he said, “There is still heavy fighting going on. Ukrainians are still advancing steadily.”
General Milley said it would be premature to say whether the counterattack had failed but added that Ukraine was “moving forward very steadily through the Russian advanced defenses.”
“There’s still quite a bit of time left; maybe about 30 to 45 days of good fighting weather, so the Ukrainians are not done yet. The fights are not over… what they’re trying to accomplish, that part of the fight is not over.”
The Kyiv counteroffensive, launched in the summer with the aim of liberating Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine, has so far yielded only minor gains.
However, Ukrainian generals claim to have broken through Russia’s strong first defensive line in the south.
General Milley said, “I said early on in this thing that it was going to be long, slow, hard, and extremely costly, and it is exactly that.”
In the same interview, the head of the UK’s defense staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, said, “Ukraine is winning, and Russia is losing.”
He said, “That’s because Russia’s aim was to subjugate Ukraine and keep it under Russian control.”
“That has not happened, and it will never happen, and that’s why Ukraine is winning.”
He noted that Ukraine was making progress in reclaiming its territory and had taken back 50% of the land seized by Russia.
He said Ukraine’s progress was also due to international pressure and diplomatic efforts, and Russia was paying the price for it.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin’s alliance with North Korea suggests that the Russian president is in a “desperate situation,” Admiral Radakin said.
He said the relationship between both countries indicated that Russia had few allies left.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reportedly plans to visit Russia this month to discuss providing Moscow with arms in support of its fight in Ukraine.
Washington and Seoul are concerned about what North Korea might gain in exchange for providing weapons, which could potentially lead to increased military cooperation between the two countries in Asia.
Admiral Radakin said the alliance “was a reflection of the disastrous mistake Russia made in invading Ukraine.”
“It’s also a reflection of Russia’s domestic situation,” he said.
“You have to recognize that [Russia’s] economy is under strain, sanctions are having a greater effect. It’s not international partners.”
“Five million people have left the country. At least ten million more want to leave.”
He said, “It’s struggling to keep enough people to sustain the war effort.”
How significant is the Putin-Kim Jong-un alliance? Generals claim Ukraine has breached the main Russian line On the subject of Donald Trump, General Milley said that the U.S. military’s loyalty was to the Constitution when asked if he would serve as Commander-in-Chief in jail.
Donald Trump, who hopes to become the Republican candidate in the 2024 U.S. election, faces multiple criminal allegations that could result in imprisonment.
He said, “We take an oath to the Constitution of the United States.”
“So we will always be loyal to that Constitution, regardless of who is in control of the White House.”
He said the military would follow all lawful orders of the duly elected President of the United States.
General Milley ruled out entering politics himself, saying that when he retires in a few weeks, he will “run for the best grandfather ever.”