Shafaq News / America’s top general has estimated that 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in Ukraine, and that Kyiv’s armed forces have “probably” suffered a similar level of casualties in the war.
Gen Mark Milley also suggested that as many as 40,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed after being caught up in the conflict.
The figures provided by Milley – which could not be independently confirmed – are the most precise to date from the US government more than eight months into the war. His remarks offer the highest US estimate of casualties in the nearly nine-month conflict to date, and came as Ukraine and Russia face a potential winter lull in fighting that experts say could offer an opportunity for some kind of negotiations.
“You are looking at well over 100,000 Russian soldiers killed and wounded,” Milley said in remarks at the Economic Club of New York. “Same thing probably on the Ukrainian side.”
Asked about prospects for diplomacy in Ukraine, Milley said the early refusal to negotiate in the first world war compounded human suffering and led to millions more casualties. “So when there is an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved: seize the moment,” Milley said.
Milley’s comments came after Russia ordered its troops to withdraw from the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine – a big blow to Moscow’s military campaign.
But officials in Kyiv reacted with caution, saying the Russian army was unlikely to leave the strategic city without a fight, while the US president, Joe Biden, suggested the retreat was evidence that Moscow has “real problems” on the battlefield.
The Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said Russia’s retreat was “part of an overall pattern” demonstrating that Moscow had “absolutely lost the momentum”.
“It’s part of an overall pattern or picture we have seen over the last month that Russia has absolutely lost the momentum,” he told Sky News during a visit to London. “But we should not underestimate Russia, they still have capabilities. We have seen the drones, we have seen the missile attacks. It shows that Russia can still inflict a lot of damage.”