STUTTGART, Germany — The Ukrainian military is conducting a hugely effective and “mobile” defense, using its innate knowledge of its home turf to stymie Russian forces on multiple fronts, Gen. Mark Milley, the top military adviser to President Joe Biden, said early Thursday.
Although the strategic city of Kherson fell to Russia on Wednesday, officials said that Ukrainian forces were mounting battles up and down the Russian lines with what they described as a resourcefulness and creativity that could trip up Russian troops for weeks or months to come.
Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the tactics employed by Ukrainian troops included using mobile weapons systems to bedevil the Russians wherever they could. Ukraine’s troops, he said, are “fighting with extraordinary skill and courage against Russian forces.”
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In standing up to an invading country that dwarfs their own and demonstrating their willingness to die to protect it, “fighting Ukrainian people have become the eyes and ears of the world,” Milley said.
The public comments, made to reporters traveling with him to meet with European officials at NATO, were Milley’s first since President Vladimir Putin of Russia began his brutal efforts to seize Ukraine and topple the democratically elected government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Milley met with NATO’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, in Brussels before traveling to Stuttgart to confer with U.S. European Command.
Stoltenberg said the Ukrainian military, which has been backed in recent days with arms shipments from NATO countries, was “performing better and putting up more resistance than most experts expected, and surely more than Russia expected.”
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