The U.S. military's top officer said Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had reclaimed more than half of Russian-occupied territory and stressed that the war will continue through the winter — until the Russians are completely gone.
Speaking at a press conference in Germany, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told reporters that “to date, Ukraine has liberated over 54% of Russian-occupied Ukraine and they continue to retain the strategic initiative.”
The promising assessment comes as more than 50 countries gathered for their regular meeting — known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group — where they decide what contributions they can make to the war effort. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that the country needed more air defense systems and noted that the long-promised M1 Abrams tanks will be arriving “soon.”
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The war in Ukraine, started when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion in February 2022 with the aim of capturing its capital within days, is now approaching 600 days in length. In the early days of the war, Ukraine was largely focused on defending itself from advancing Russian troops but, this summer, the country kicked off a major counteroffensive aimed at repelling all invading forces.
“It's not particularly surprising … the Ukrainian offensive is going a little bit…