Milley provides highest US estimate yet of Ukraine war casualties
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday said about 40,000 civilians have been killed in the war in Ukraine, the highest estimate yet from a U.S. official.
Speaking at a conference hosted by the Economic Club of New York, Milley also said more than 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the war, according to various news reports on the general’s comments.
He added that the number of troop casualties was probably the “same” for Ukraine’s army.
Milley added that the war had brought about “a lot of human suffering,” explaining that up to 30 million Ukrainians have also been displaced from their homes.
His comments underscore the devastating toll the war has had on both Ukraine and Russia as fighting continues unabated and has no end in sight.
Milley’s estimate on the number of civilian casualties is much higher than the 15,246 casualties reported by the United Nations last month.
His comments on the number of Russian troop casualties are in line with the roughly 70,000 to 80,000 losses estimated by the Defense Department in August, although estimates on how many soldiers Ukraine has lost have been less clear.
Russia launched a full-force invasion in late February and was met with a surprisingly stiff resistance from Ukraine, which pushed Russian forces back from the west around the capital of Kyiv over the spring, and in the fall launched a counteroffensive in the southern region of Kherson.
Amid the setbacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to call up some 300,000 reservists to assist the war effort and ordered mass strikes on Ukrainian cities after a symbolic bridge stretching to the Crimean Peninsula was partially blown up.
Milley said Putin has experienced heavy losses in Ukraine.
“Putin has lost a tremendous amount of military capability, and they have suffered a tremendous amount of military loss,” Milley said at the conference. “I think the Russians have severely underestimated the Ukrainian people.”
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