Milley: Ukraine is ‘well prepared’ for counteroffensive

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said Ukraine was “very well prepared” for the high-stakes upcoming counteroffensive to retake its territory from Russian forces.

In an interview with CNN, Milley joined a host of other high-profile public officials who are publicly affirming their confidence in Ukraine’s readiness for the counteroffensive, which has been in the planning process for months and reportedly could now be imminent.

“They’re in a war that’s an existential threat for the very survival of Ukraine and has greater meaning for the rest of the world — for Europe, really for the United States, but also for the globe,” Milley told CNN from Normandy, France, where he is commemorating the 79th anniversary of D-Day.

Over the weekend, messages of strength and confidence in Ukrainian troops spread across various media, from high-profile U.S. officials and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelensky said in a new interview published by the Wall Street Journal this weekend that Ukraine is ready for the counteroffensive, despite acknowledging the possibility that “a large number of soldiers will die.”

“I don’t know how long it will take,” Zelensky said. “To be honest, it can go a variety of ways, completely different. But we are going to do it, and we are ready.”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan also projected confidence in Ukraine’s ability to regain territory from Russia and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to supporting Ukraine.

“[W]e believe that the Ukrainians will meet with success in this counteroffensive,” Sullivan said in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “And we will continue to support them as they seek to defend themselves against Russia’s ongoing aggression.”

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) also said he was “incredibly optimistic” after visiting Ukraine a couple of months ago.

“The upcoming offensive, they’re ready for; they’re trained for; they’re equipped for. And Russia is not,” Turner said in an interview on ABC News’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday.

The tone marks a shift from earlier in May, when Zelensky said his troops needed more time to prepare, but last week, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces said in a social media post, “the time will soon come when we will move to active offensive actions,” according to translations.

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