The Ukrainian counteroffensive “did not fail”but the road to a definitive victory for kyiv in the conflict with Russia is still very long, considered the chief of the General Staff American, General Mark Milleyin an interview broadcast on Sunday.
“This offensive, although slower than expected, remained constant” and the Ukrainians still have “a significant strike force“, he claimed.
Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June to retake territories occupied by Moscowafter receiving Western weapons and preparing new battalions.
“I know some observers say this offensive has failed. “It has not failed.”he claimed MilleyAmerica’s highest-ranking military officer, in an interview on cnn.
Ukraine has “a lot of combat power. Ukrainians are not a spent force”he added.
However, he warned: “It will take considerable time to militarily expel the more than 200,000 Russian soldiers from Ukraine. occupied by Russia. It’s a very high bar. It will take a long time to do it.”
Milley’s words of caution add to those spoken by the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenbergwho also warned that there would be no quick end to the conflict, in an interview published on Sunday.
“Most wars last longer than expected when they start”Stoltenberg told the German media group Funke.
“Therefore, we must prepare for a long war in Ukraine”although everyone wants a quick peace.
Recovery of Klishchiivka
Milley and Stoltenberg’s words come at a time when Ukraine declared its forces had retaken Klishchiivkaa city of great tactical importance located south of the key city of Bakhmut, on the front line, in its counterattack to the harsh Russian offensive.
The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, praised the soldiers fighting near Bakhmut and highlighted those who had resumed Klishchiivkasaying “Well done!” in his evening address to the nation.
Zelensky also stated that kyiv was “preparing new defense solutions for Ukraine”stating that “air defense and artillery are the priority”, without giving further details.
Klishchiivkawhere several hundred people lived before Moscow launched its offensive in February 2022, was captured by Russian troops in January.
Ilya Yevlashspokesman for Ukrainian troops in the east, said that control over Klishchiivka could help the Ukrainian army encircle Bakhmut, captured by Russian forces in May after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war.
“Now we have gained a base of operations, which in the future will allow us to continue developing offensive actions and liberate our land from the occupiers”Yevlash said in a televised statement.
Taking the village will allow Ukrainian forces advance more easily towards Russian forces and launch more precise artillery strikes, he added.
Zelensky’s visit to the US
Victories on the battlefield are especially important for Ukraineas Zelensky prepares his second visit since the start of the war to Washington next week in an attempt to rally support.
The president will be received on Thursday at the White House by the president Joe Biden.
This trip occurs at a time when the US Congress debates new $24 billion endowment of military aid for kyiv.
The Ukrainian president would also meet at the Capitol with the republican leaders and democrats in Parliament.
(With information from AFP and EFE)