Washington: For this year, it would be “very, very difficult” to militarily eject the Russian forces from every inch of territory that they have occupied in Ukraine, a top American general said. That does not mean it cannot and will not happen, General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
“From a military standpoint, I still maintain that for this year it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from every inch of Ukraine and occupied or Russian-occupied Ukraine,” General Milley told reporters at a news conference in Germany.
“That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it would be very, very difficult. I think what can happen is a continued defence stabilised in the front,” he said.
Depending on the delivery of US equipment and training of the Ukrainian military, it is very possible for the Ukrainians to run a significant tactical or even operational-level offensive operation to liberate as much Ukrainian territory as possible, General Milley said. “Then we’ll see where it goes,” he added.
The United States on Thursday announced another military assistance package of USD 2.5 billion for Ukraine to fight against Russian aggression, taking the total US military assistance to USD 27.5 billion.
General Milley said the Ukraine-Russia war, like many wars in the past, “will end at some sort of a negotiating table”. Russian President Vladimir Putin could end this war today, he said.
“He started it… he could end it today because it’s turning into an absolute catastrophe for Russia — massive number of casualties and lots of other damage to the Russian military,” he said.
General Milley and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin addressed a joint news conference in Germany following the conclusion of the eighth Ukraine Defence Contact Group meeting that comprises defence leaders from more than 50 countries.