Espreso. Global

Russia moves to war of attrition - General Milley

15 February, 2023 Wednesday
02:09

Russia has moved to a war of attrition. It has suffered many casualties and morale is low, but the Russian forces are trying to win by outnumbering

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley made this statement at a briefing after the 9th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in the Ramstein format.

"Ukrainians have shown their effectiveness. I don't know if Russia has enough power to capture Donbas. They have moved to a war of attrition. They have a lot of casualties, their leadership and morale is not great, however they do have numbers. And as you know, Putin has called for several hundred thousand to be mobilized. Yes, they have that number, but they are not having any success on the battlefield. But you can see that the fight is ongoing, it is slow, it is attrition," he said.

General Milley added that, given this situation, the allies are providing a lot of powerful assistance to Ukraine. And it is up to the Ukrainians to decide what to do with this assistance in the coming months.

Commenting on the fighting around Bakhmut, the general noted that the Ukrainians are holding strong, the front line is stable, and the fighting is likely to continue in the near future.

"The offensive is ongoing in the Bakhmut area. From Kharkiv to Kherson the frontline is relatively stable. Most of the dynamic movements are around Bakhmut, the Ukrainians are holding firm, they are fighting off the Wagner soldiers and the regular Armed Forces of Russia. There are no big maneuvers there, these are frontal attacks, artillery attacks and extremely high level of casualties. It is hard to say how long this will last. It's very important to survive this battle of attrition, particularly given the number of casualties on the part of Russia. It is difficult to predict anything for the coming weeks. I think the fighting will continue until the Russians stop. I don't think Ukraine will fall or retreat, it will continue to fight. This battle has a lot at stake. And that's why we have to keep the focus on the fact that Ukraine has everything it needs," Milley emphasized.

Answering the question whether there is a risk of a repeated Russian offensive, in particular on Kyiv, the general noted that he could not speak about intelligence data, but "there is always a potential threat, including massive missile attacks on the capital of Ukraine."

"Kyiv remains a significant target for Russia, so I do not want to downplay the risks in this regard," he added.

  • On February 14, the 9th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in the Ramstein format took place in Brussels. Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who is participating in the meeting, said the day before that the 9th Ramstein meeting would have on its agenda the issue of supplying Ukraine with combat aircraft.

  • Before the Ramstein meeting, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin promised to aid Ukraine in a counteroffensive in the spring. He also listed the countries that are preparing to provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks or have made a commitment to do so.

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