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Milley: Ukraine losing 100 soldiers per day

Mark Milley
Associated Press/Jose Luis Magana
FILE – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testifies before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense during a hearing for the Fiscal Year 2023 Department of Defense, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 11, 2022. In prepared remarks, Milley painted a grim picture of a world that is becoming more unstable, with great powers intent on changing the global order. And he told graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point that they will bear the responsibility to make sure America is prepared. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday in a meeting at NATO headquarters that Ukraine is losing approximately 100 soldiers per day, in addition to up to 300 wounded per day, due to Russia’s months-long onslaught against the country.

“In the media you see reported that Ukraine has taken 100 killed and 100 or 200 or 300 wounded per day. I would say those are in the ballpark of our assessments,” Milley told reporters at the press meeting in Brussels.

He added: “For Ukraine, this is an existential threat.”

The press conference followed President Biden’s announcement Wednesday that he plans to send $1 billion in defense support to Ukraine, in addition to the billions the U.S. has already supplied to its eastern European ally.

Milley, alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, met with fellow NATO defense ministers in a two-day meeting beginning Wednesday to discuss aid for Ukraine and the applications of Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance.

“In the current phase of this conflict the Ukrainians are fighting hard, tooth and nail, everyday, inch by inch, yard by yard, kilometer by kilometer against the Russian advance in the Donbas,” Milley said. “The ministers of defense and the chiefs of defense that met today are committed to providing Ukrainians the means to halt Russian aggression and defend their sovereign territory.”

Milley claimed that “the world has a significant stake in the outcome of what happens in Ukraine,” saying that Russia’s invasion of its smaller neighbor is reminiscent of a pre-World War II “international order” where large powers did not hesitate to attack other countries.

Both Milley and Austin outlined the amount of support the U.S. has provided to Ukraine since Russia’s initial invasion in late February, Austin reiterating that Congress approved a $40 billion defense and humanitarian package for Ukraine in May and announcing Biden’s newly authorized $1 billion plan.

Milley highlighted that the U.S. has regularly sent more defense commodities than Ukraine has requested.

“They asked for 10 battalions of artillery; 12 battalions of artillery were delivered. … They asked for 200 tanks; they got 237 tanks. They asked for 100 infantry fighting vehicles; they got over 300,” Milley said.

The general admitted that Russian artillery outnumbers Ukrainian weapons but said that “war is not just a game of numbers. It’s how you use them.”

“They’re fighting for the very life of their country. So your ability to endure suffering, your ability to endure casualties is directly proportional to the object to be obtained. And if the object to be obtained is survival of your country, then you’re going to sustain it,” said Milley.

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