Milley: Russian strategic objectives in Ukraine ‘have been defeated’
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday said Russia’s strategic objectives in its attack on Ukraine have “been defeated.”
“The war is not over, but so far the Russian strategic objectives have been defeated,” Milley said at a news conference alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
“Despite being outgunned and outmanned, the Ukrainians have demonstrated superior tactical proficiency and they’ve demonstrated a superior will to fight, fight for their own country, fight for their freedom,” Milley added.
Russia in April began an offensive in the eastern-most part of Ukraine known as the Donbas after failing to take the capital of Kyiv early in the invasion.
Milley, who allowed that Moscow has achieved “minor tactical success in various parts of eastern Ukraine,” attributed the falters in the Kremlin’s offensive to unsuccessful operational objectives and “a very successful defense conducted by Ukraine.”
“They have not achieved all of the Donbas, and they have only crossed the Dnipro River in the south in the vicinity of Kherson,” he said of Russian forces.
The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, launched its own offensive to push back Kremlin troops around Sept. 1.
Milley said it’s too early to fully assess that offensive near Kherson, but he noted Ukraine “is effectively using their fires to shape the ground maneuver” and has had “steady” and “deliberate” progress in the fight.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meanwhile, who was in Kyiv for an unannounced visit on Thursday, said as he departed the country that the Ukrainian counteroffensive was “proving effective.”
“Again, it’s very early, but we’re seeing clear and real progress on the ground, particularly in the area around Kherson, but also some interesting developments in the Donbass, in the east, but again, early days,” he said, as reported by CNN.