Washington/Kyiv – Ukraine now has only one to one-and-a-half months left for the anti-Russian counteroffensive. US General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claimed that it would not be possible for Ukraine to carry out more activities against the backdrop of subsequent weather changes. The US official also admitted that the anti-Russian counteroffensive against Ukraine is moving much slower than expected.
Moreover, Ukraine has not succeeded much in the counteroffensive launched against Russia three months ago. Ukraine has not made much progress, occupying parts of Bakhmut and some villages of Zaporizhzhia and its open plains. Ukrainian officials, leaders, and the Western countries supporting Ukraine have also acknowledged that Ukraine has not achieved a single objective set for this campaign. Thus, unease seems to grow among Westerners besides a faction in Ukraine.
In such a situation, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed last week that Ukraine’s counteroffensive had altogether failed. Besides, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu also confirmed President Putin’s statement. Shoigu said, ‘In none of the [attack] directions have Ukraine’s armed forces achieved their goal. Ukraine has lost more than 66,000 soldiers in the last three months.’ Nonetheless, the Ukrainian officials rejected these statements of Russia and claimed to have broken Russia’s first defence line in southern Ukraine.
Against this background, the US Army chief’s statements have drawn much attention. He said the cold season will begin in Ukraine in the coming weeks. Also, the snowfall during this period and the snow accumulated from it can be a new obstacle for the Ukrainian army. He also said that the Ukrainian military, trying to push back Russian forces, had suffered losses last year. Considering this, a senior US official has advised Ukraine to increase the counteroffensives’ pace.
Furthermore, the US official has also pointed out that further difficulties may arise if the Ukraine operation does not gain momentum. Additionally, there have been continuous reports about Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the last few days. These revealed that the US’s top intelligence agency, the CIA, had submitted a report on the issue to Secretary of State Antony Blinken a few days ago. It said that the intelligence agencies were aware of the possibility of Ukraine’s anti-Russian counteroffensive failing.