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Milley tries to make clear his case for a negotiated finish to Ukraine struggle

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The Pentagon’s prime common on Wednesday doubled down on his evaluation that the chance of Ukraine absolutely vanquishing Russia on the battlefield is “not high,” as he sought to contextualize his latest suggestion that the federal government in Kyiv ought to contemplate the approaching winter a possibility to barter an finish to the battle.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, instructed reporters emphatically that the United States would “continue to support Ukraine as long as it takes to keep them free” and that it was “up to Ukraine to decide how or when or if they will negotiate with the Russians.” But he was equally resolute in his perception that the approaching seasonal shift, when tempo of fight is anticipated to sluggish, may present “a window” to a political resolution — as pushing Russia out of Ukraine fully can be “a very difficult task,” whereas the chance of Russia defeating Ukraine “is close to zero.”

It was related feedback, delivered by Milley throughout a speech in New York final week, that infuriated Ukrainian officers, who’ve vowed to take again all Russian-occupied areas, and set off a scramble throughout the Biden administration to dispel any impression that U.S. assist could also be waning. Asked Wednesday about these remarks, the overall ticked by means of a listing of Moscow’s latest battlefield losses, emphasizing his perception that such intensive setbacks would give Kyiv the higher hand ought to peace talks resume.

“Russia right now is on its back. The Russian military is suffering tremendously,” Milley stated in the course of the information convention alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “You want to negotiate at a time when you’re at strength and your opponent is at weakness.”

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Missile in Poland was accident, NATO says. But spillover concern stays.

The joint public look got here as U.S. and different Western officers endorsed a preliminary evaluation indicating that Tuesday’s lethal explosion in japanese Poland was in all probability brought on — unintentionally — by Ukraine as its navy tried to intercept incoming Russian missiles. The White House and the Pentagon every stated they’d seen no proof to contradict these findings, introduced earlier by Poland’s president.

Austin stated that the United States, which maintains a considerable navy presence in Poland, had dispatched specialists to help within the Polish-led investigation and that “our information supports” the early findings. Like different U.S. and Western officers, he stated that “the world knows that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for this incident,” which coincided with a mass strike throughout Ukraine on Tuesday.

Ukraine accused Russia initially of being liable for the explosion, and President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday rejected assertions that his nation’s navy was in all probability at fault in what has been characterised as an unlucky accident. Milley instructed reporters that he tried to contact however was unable to attach together with his Russian counterpart because the incident in Poland raised fears of a broader escalation.

Zelensky has ‘no doubt’ missile that hit in Poland was not Ukrainian

The Polish explosion occurred on what the Pentagon stated was a record-setting day of Russian strikes all through Ukraine, together with in Lviv, about 50 miles from the positioning on Tuesday. Milley stated the Kremlin’s efforts to focus on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, together with its electrical grid, amounted to a “war crime,” including that “over a quarter of Ukrainian civilians” reside with out energy as winter is about to set in.

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U.S. officers anticipate that battle traces will harden in coming months, as muddy floor complicates tactical alternatives to battle. “If that happens,” Milley stated, “that may become a window … for political solutions or talks to initiate a political solution.”

Austin stated the United States’ function was to make sure Ukraine has the means to perform its targets — including that these aims “are the Ukrainians.’ They’re not ours.”

“In terms of what’s a good time to negotiate, we’ve said repeatedly that the Ukrainians are going to decide that, not us,” he stated.

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