Gen. Mark Milley Defends Ukraine’s Stalling Counteroffensive

( – During a July 18 press conference at the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said that Ukraine’s counteroffensive isn’t a failure, despite its slow pace. Milley explained that this military operation from Ukrainian troops would be long, hard, and “bloody.” He said that these forces have been slowed down because of the mines set by “the Russians.”

The Ukrainian counteroffensive officially began in May, with President Volodymyr Zelensky claiming that the main goal was to advance and recapture territories taken by Russia. However, different reports have revealed that Ukrainian troops have been struggling to make significant advances. Some military experts have even claimed that the counteroffensive has been a failure that could end up being decisive in this war.

Milley told reporters that Ukrainian troops are “preserving” their power by preserving “their best soldiers.” He also explained that the military operation is slower than expected as they are taking their time “clearing real minefields.” However, he said that many Ukrainian soldiers are dying in this effort.

When asked about Russian troops’ anticipating the counteroffensive, Milley said that they had months to create their own “security zone” against the Ukrainian military. He noted that the way these Russian troops did it was by creating “complex minefields,” digging trenches, and stringing barbed wire in large areas.

However, he said that Ukrainians were “helped” by the Wagner mercenary group’s armed rebellion against the Kremlin in June, as he said this thrown into Russia’s command structure into disarray. Milley added this benefited Ukraine as the private military group was the Russian faction that was delivering more results, including the capture of Bakhmut.

Milley explained this situation gives Ukraine a significant opportunity as the new Russian military command structure is “confusing at best.” Moreover, he told reporters that the morale of Russian troops is “low” because of Wagner’s mutiny and the way they are still fighting a war that many thought would be resolved in a matter of weeks.

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