Ukraine only has around 45 days left before poor weather conditions hinder its counter-offensive against Russia, the head of the US military has said.
Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, General Mark Milley said it will become “very difficult to manoeuvre” once the rains come.
“That offensive kicked off about 90 days ago,” he said.
“It has gone slower than the planners anticipated. But that is a difference between what (Prussian general and military theorist Carl von) Clausewitz called 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.”
“So the Ukrainians aren’t done,” he said.
“This battle is not done. They haven’t finished the fighting part of what they’re trying to accomplish. So, we’ll see… it’s too early to say how this is going to end.
“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, and then, at that point, we’ll see where things go.
“But right now it is way too early to say that this offensive has failed or not failed.”
In the same interview, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff, said Ukraine is “winning” because Russia has failed to bring the country under its control.
“That is because the aim of Russia was to subjugate Ukraine and to put it under Russia’s control”, he said.
“That has not happened and it never will happen, and that’s why Ukraine is winning.”