Sunday, September 24

Could the counterattack by Ukraine and the U.S. be halted by the arrival of winter?

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A senior Ukrainian official has cautioned that Kyiv has limited time to pursue a military offensive that is not moving forward, which could potentially conflict with Ukraine and its primary ally, the U.S.

The warning was issued as tensions with Kyiv’s Western allies were revealed over the weekend, coinciding with the conclusion of the Group of 20 summit in India.

The joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, stated in a BBC interview on Sunday that Kyiv could face difficulties in maneuvering due to the potential impact of cold weather over the next month’s war and may have only one month to make significant improvements on the battlefield.

Milley stated that the Ukrainians are not done yet due to a reasonable amount of time, possibly 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather.

The Ukrainians were making steady progress, but it was too soon to determine if their counterattack had failed, according to him.

Milley’s remarks indicated that Kyiv is resolute in its determination to push forward when the weather improves.

According to Reuters, Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s intelligence chief, stated on Saturday that combat actions would persist in some form. “In the cold, wet, and mud, it becomes more challenging to fight, so we will continue with our counteroffensive.”

In June, Kyiv launched a long-awaited counterattack to recapture occupied territories, but it has not made significant progress in the battleground, which is heavily fortified by Russian troops and heavily mined.

Weather may have a significant impact as fall and winter approaches, regardless of the Western military aid availability.

During his late-night video address on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seemed to emphasize Ukraine’s victories in the battlefield.

Zelenskyy stated that they had made progress in the last seven days and noted that there was movement in both the south and east.

Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine is constantly held responsible by its warriors, who take on the initiative every week.

The question of whether continuing with the initiative will result in significant improvements that will help sustain military aid remains unanswered.

The upcoming months will bring colder and wetter weather, which is expected to play a significant role in Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

The Russian first defense line was breached by Kyiv in the south last week, and it is expected to become a major breakthrough that could enable its troops to fragment Russian forces in this area and jeopardize Moscow’s valuable “land bridge” to the occupied Crimean Peninsula.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive has already been largely disregarded by the Kremlin as a failure.

The G20 leaders’ joint declaration, which did not directly condemn Russia’s invasion but instead called on states to avoid compromising the territorial integrity and sovereignty of others, has left Ukraine feeling disappointed.

Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, expressed his gratitude to the allies who attempted to include strong language in the text and stated that “G20 has nothing to be proud of.”

Nikolenko incorporated an alternative version of the declaration into it, which he believed would appear more realistic and hold Russia accountable. The Ukrainian side’s involvement would allow participants to gain a better understanding of what was going on.

The G20, which includes the U.S., Russia, and China, but not Ukraine, has been split over President Vladimir Putin’s invasion. As a result, there was surprisingly little agreement on the joint declaration’s wording on war on Ukraine; Russia spoke highly of the summit, while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called it – “an obvious victory.”

Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, responded to a question about the U.S.’s decision to adopt less explicit language in the declaration by stating that there was “real clarity” among the leaders present on Ukraine and that it was crucial for the G20 to communicate effectively.

Blinken stated that the collective declaration recognizing Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and importance speaks volumes.

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