Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that, despite having superior manpower and weaponry, Russia's strategic objectives have "been defeated" in its invasion of Ukraine.
"The war is not over, but so far the Russian strategic objectives have been defeated," Milley said in a news conference at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
"Despite being outgunned and outmanned, the Ukrainians have demonstrated superior tactical proficiency; and they've demonstrated a superior will to fight, fight for their own country, fight for their freedom,' he added.
After failing to capture the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv early on, Russia began an offensive in April in the eastern part of the country known as the Donbas, according to The Hill.
While he conceded that the Kremlin has attained "minor tactical success in various parts of eastern Ukraine," Milley ascribed the halting nature of Moscow's current offensive campaign to failed operational objectives and "a very successful defense conducted by Ukraine."
Russian troops "have not achieved all of the Donbas, and they have only crossed the Dnieper River in the south in the vicinity of Kherson," he said.
According to The Hill, Ukrainian fighters launched a counteroffensive to repel Russian forces at the beginning of the month.
Saying that it's too soon to judge the offensive near Kherson, Milley observed that Ukraine "is effectively using their fires to shape the ground maneuver" and has made "steady" and "deliberate" progress.
The Associated Press reported that Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Ukrainian counteroffensive was showing "real effectiveness" as he wrapped up an unscheduled visit to Kyiv on Thursday.
"I thought it was particularly meaningful [to visit] at this time as Ukraine is starting this counteroffensive in the south, also in the east," Blinken told reporters in Kyiv before boarding a train for Poland.
"It's early days, but we're seeing real effectiveness on the ground. And we're proud of the fact that our support, the support of so many other countries, is helping to enable what the Ukrainians are doing and working to liberate territory seized by Russia in this aggression," Blinken said.
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