Arctic Weather Predicted to Hinder Ukraine’s Counter-Offensive Progress


Ukraine is now left with a window of approximately a month to continue its counter-offensive before weather conditions start impeding combat, as indicated by the highest-ranking officer of the US military. The coming colder weather is likely to hamper Ukraine’s capacity to mobilize, says Gen Mark Milley, whose comments were made in a conversation with the BBC’s program, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.

Gen Milley admitted that the Ukraine offensive progress has been sluggish compared to initial estimations. However, he underscored the continuous heavy fighting and steady progress made by the Ukrainian military. In his viewpoint, claiming the counter-offensive as unsuccessful would be premature as Ukraine continues to forge ahead steadily through Russian frontlines.

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He assured that a significant amount of time—around 30 to 45 days of combat-favorable weather—still remains and the Ukrainian forces haven’t concluded their combat objectives yet. The counter-offensive launched in summer by Kyiv, aiming to free the territories occupied by Russia in Ukraine, has witnessed only minor advances till now.

From the onset of the war, Gen Milley had warned about the long, arduous, and deadly journey ahead, a prediction which has so far proved accurate. Meanwhile, in the same interview, UK’s chief of defence staff, Adm Sir Tony Radakin, declared Ukraine as the winning side and Russia as the losing side. Radakin justified his statement citing the failure of Russia’s mission to enslave Ukraine and establish control.

He further added that Ukraine is steadily progressing in reclaiming its territory, successfully recovering 50% of the land taken by Russia. Ukraine’s advancements are also a result of the international community exercising diplomatic and economic pressure, inflicting suffering on Russia.

Despite the autumn rain and winter cold affecting the nature of combat considerably, the slowdown in Ukraine’s offensive last year can be attributed more towards equipment and ammunition deficiencies. Lt Gen Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, acknowledged the weather-related challenges but advocated that it is a question of adaptation, not of cessation.

Adm Radakin commented on Vladimir Putin’s alliance with North Korea, stating it represents Russia’s desperation and underlines the limited allies Russia has left. There are tentative plans for both leaders to discuss North Korea supplying weapons to Russia to aid its Ukraine fight.

Concerns are escalating both in Washington and Seoul regarding the potential quid pro quo resultant from such an arms deal, which could bolster military cooperation between Russia and North Korea in Asia. Adm Radakin asserted that this alliance reflects the disastrous error Russia committed by invading Ukraine, as well as the internal turmoil it’s undergoing.

Russia’s economy is under significant pressure, with impactful sanctions and half a million of its citizens having already fled the country. Furthermore, there is a prediction of at least another million wishing to leave, illustrating Russia’s struggle to garner enough support to sustain the war.

Addressing Donald Trump’s situation, Gen Milley stated that the allegiance of the US military is to its constitution, regardless of who the commander-in-chief is and their legal position. He affirmed that the US military is obligated to follow all lawful orders from the United States’ duly-elected president. Gen Milley, however, clarified that he has no plans to enter politics himself, joking that he’d prefer to work on being the best grandad after his retirement in the coming weeks.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.