Ukraine has just 45 days to turn the tide in its counteroffensive against Russia before the onset of autumn and winter weather, observers warn
- US General Mark Milley said it would become ‘difficult to manoeuvre’ in the rain
Ukraine has just 45 days left to make significant gains in its counteroffensive against Russian forces before the onset of autumn and winter weather, Western observers said yesterday.
General Mark Milley, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would become ‘very difficult to manoeuvre’ in the region’s autumn rains.
Early in the summer, Kyiv began to strike at Russia’s defensive lines, intending to reach the Sea of Azov to split Ukrainian territory held by Russia into two.
Gains were small to begin with – in areas that the Russians had spent a year laying mines – but a week ago Ukrainian generals reported they had broken through the first lines.
General Milley said: ‘It has gone slower than the planners anticipated. But that is a difference between… war on paper and real war. So these are real people in real vehicles that are fighting through real minefields, and there’s real death and destruction, and there’s real friction. And there’s still a reasonable amount of time – probably about 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather left.’
General Mark Milley (pictured), US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would become ‘very difficult to manoeuvre’ in the region’s autumn rains
Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, he added: ‘They at least have achieved partial success in what they set out to do, and that’s important.
‘And then the rains will come in. It’ll become very muddy.
‘It’ll be very difficult to manoeuvre at that point, and then you’ll get the deep winter.’ On the same programme, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff, said Ukraine was ‘winning’ because Russia had failed to bring the country under its control.
‘That has not happened and it never will happen, and that’s why Ukraine is winning,’ he added.
Meanwhile, a Spanish charity director and a Canadian aid worker were killed by Russian shelling yesterday. Emma Igual, 32, was travelling with Anthony Ihnat and two other volunteers in a van close to the frontline of Ukraine’s offensive.
Meanwhile, a Spanish charity director and a Canadian aid worker were killed by Russian shelling yesterday. Emma Igual (pictured), 32, was travelling with Anthony Ihnat and two other volunteers in a van close to the frontline of Ukraine’s offensive
Ruben Mawick, from Germany, and Johan Mathias Thyr, from Sweden, were seriously wounded.
The party of four – from Road for Relief, which helps evacuate the wounded from frontline areas – were trapped inside the burning van after it was struck by shells near the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.
Road to Relief said the group were on their way to assess the needs of civilians on the outskirts of Bakhmut, which saw the war’s longest and bloodiest battle before falling to Russian troops in May.
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