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Top US General: Ukraine has about 30-45 days for the offensive before weather worsens

by Asami Terajima September 10, 2023 2:50 PM 2 min read
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley speaks during a hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill on March 28, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said on Sept. 10 that Ukraine likely has about 30 to 45 days for the counteroffensive before the weather worsens on the ground.

The summer counteroffensive, which has seen Ukraine liberate more than a dozen villages in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblasts, is going slower than expected, Milley said, but he added that Ukraine is still "progressing at a very steady pace through the Russian front lines."

"There's still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days' worth of fighting weather left, so the Ukrainians aren't done," Milley said in the BBC's Sunday program.

"I said at the very beginning of this (war) that this was going to be long, slow, hard, and high-casualty-producing, and that's exactly what it is," he added.

More than three months into the counteroffensive, raging in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and two axes in Donetsk Oblast – Bakhmut and Velyka Novosilka, Western skepticism grows as to whether Ukraine will achieve its goals set for the high-stakes operation.

Thwarted by heavily mined fields and incessant artillery, Ukrainian soldiers on the ground say that everything is done slowly to minimize casualties.

However, on Sept. 9, Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference that Ukraine plans to continue the counteroffensive no matter the weather conditions.

"Combat actions will continue in one way or another," Budanov said. "In the cold, wet, and mud, it is more difficult to fight. Fighting will continue. The counteroffensive will continue."

As counteroffensive presses forward in southeast, ‘every meter costs a life’
Editor’s note: The Kyiv Independent is not disclosing the soldiers interviewed in the story by their full names due to security concerns amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. The article also contains photos that some readers may find disturbing. DONETSK OBLAST – Twenty-nine-year-old assault company com…
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