Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley on Sunday warned of potential Russian reactions to losing territory in Ukraine, Reuters reported.
“The war is not going too well for Russia right now. So it’s incumbent upon all of us to maintain high states of readiness, alert,” Milley said in Warsaw, Poland, the outlet reported.
Milley’s remarks came after he visited a military base in Poland assisting the Ukrainian war efforts. Reporters were asked not to publish specific details about the location, according to Reuters.
Ukrainian troops in recent days have launched a counteroffensive, reclaiming thousands of square miles of territory previously occupied by Russia following its invasion in February. The gains have been especially pronounced in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, located in the country’s northeast.
The counteroffensive has given new hope to the Ukraine and its allies after nearly seven months of war, while causing frustration with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war at home.
Personalities on Kremlin-owned television stations have in some cases questioned his leadership as Russian forces retreated from regions of Ukraine. Dozens of municipal-level officials have called for Putin’s resignation.
Milley warned that Putin’s response was unpredictable, and that the war could change course quickly.
“In the conduct of war, you just don’t know with a high degree of certainty what will happen next,” Milley said, Reuters reported.
“Because of that, we have to very closely watch what Russia’s reactions to that will be,” Milley said, according to Reuters.
Milley told reporters U.S. troops stationed in Poland and elsewhere in Europe were not necessarily under increased threat.
President Biden on Tuesday hailed Ukraine’s progress, but when asked if the counteroffensive marked a turning point in the war, he said the question was “unanswerable.”
“It’s hard to tell,” Biden said. “It’s clear the Ukrainians have made significant progress, but I think it’s going to be a long haul.”