Russia has suffered more than 100,000 soldiers killed and wounded as a result of the war in Ukraine, the US general said on Wednesday evening – and Ukraine is likely looking at similar numbers.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, speaking at an event at the Economic Club in New York, called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a ‘tremendous strategic mistake’ for which the country would pay “for years and years and years to come”.
The war, which began in February, has caused enormous human suffering, Milley said, including between 15 and 30 million refugees and around 40,000 Ukrainian civilians killed.
“You see well over 100,000 Russian soldiers killed and wounded,” Milley said. “Same probably on the Ukrainian side.”
Path to Peace: Milley said there could be a chance to negotiate an end to the conflict if and when the front lines stabilize over the winter.
“When there is an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it,” Milley said. “Seize the moment.”
But if negotiations never materialize or fail, Milley said the United States will continue to arm Ukraine, even as an outright military victory by either side looks increasingly likely. unlikely.
“There must be mutual recognition that military victory is probably in the truest sense may not be attainable by military means, and therefore you must look to other means,” he said.
Withdrawal from Kherson: Milley also said the United States was seeing the first indications that Russia was indeed withdrawing from Kherson, as it had declared. But he said the withdrawal of up to 30,000 Russian troops from the west bank of the Dnipro could take days or even weeks.
“I believe they’re doing it to preserve strength, to re-establish defensive lines south of the river, but that remains to be seen,” Milley said. “Right now the early indicators are that they are doing what they say they are doing and we are seeing those early indicators.”