US chief of staff General Mark Milley insisted on Wednesday that US support had not waned, but said Kyiv was in a good position to start talks because its soldiers were able to stand up to Russia.
He said that the Russians are now strengthening their grip on 20% of Ukrainian territory and that the front lines from the city of Karviv to Kherson are being stabilized.
“The probability of a Ukrainian military victory includes the expulsion of the Russians from all of Ukraine. […] “In Crimea, it’s not very likely to happen soon, militarily speaking,” he said.
“Politically there could be a political solution where the Russians leave, that’s possible,” Milley added.
No US pressure
The White House on Friday reiterated that only Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in a position to approve the start of talks between Ukraine and Russia.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, “We’ve also said that it’s up to President Zelensky to say when he’ll be ready for negotiations and what form he’ll take.”
“No one in America is encouraging, urging or pushing him to the negotiating table,” he said.
But earlier this month, Volodymyr Zelensky said he was no longer demanding Vladimir Putin’s departure in order to start negotiations, a change that came after pressure from the White House.
An example of the First World War