While the Ukrainian troops are advancing “steadily,” quick results should not be expected from Ukraine's ongoing counteroffensive, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, said at a press briefing on July 18.
Milley emphasized that the international coalition has helped Ukraine prepare 17 combat brigades for the operation, including over 63,000 servicemen. Meanwhile, Ukraine is still holding back a significant amount the troops in reserve, slowly and deliberately breaking through Russian defenses.
“A robust Ukrainian force lies in waiting, ready to be committed at the time and place of Ukraine’s choosing,” he commented on Kyiv’s untapped military reserves.
He noted that despite the time Russian forces had to prepare for defense, they have encountered significant problems: poor training, equipment, and morale. The June Wagner mutiny has added to these problems.
“It (the counteroffensive) is far from a failure, in my view; It is wat too early to make that kind of call,” Milley added.
“This is going to be long; it’s going to be hard; it’s going to be bloody.”
However, he believes that the main problem causing Ukrainian casualties at the moment are extensive minefields, not Russian aviation.
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