Russia has ‘significantly’ more than 100,000 casualties in Ukraine: Milley

Russia has 'significantly' more than 100,000 casualties in Ukraine: Milley

WASHINGTON – Russian forces have suffered “significantly well over 100,000” casualties and endured “a huge amount” of suffering since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine began nearly 11 months ago, the top US general said Friday.

“The numbers of casualties in war are always suspect,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters in Germany. “But I would tell you that the Russian casualties, the last time I reported out publicly [in November] I said it was well over 100,000. I would say it’s significantly well over 100,000 now.”

Milley did not estimate Ukraine’s military losses, but in November he suggested that Ukraine had lost roughly the same amount of forces as Russia.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s armed forces released a tally stating that 116,950 Russian troops had been “eliminated.” If true, that would mean more Russian forces have died in combat during in Ukraine than the number of American forces who died of all causes during World War I.

Milley also predicted Friday that Europe’s largest conflict since the Second World War would end in mediation as both sides struggle to come to grips with manpower losses.

“This is a very, very bloody war, and there’s significant casualties on both sides,” he said. “This is why I say that I think that sooner or later this is going to have to get to the negotiating table at some point in order to bring this to a conclusion.”

Corpse of a Russian soldier, died in conflicts within Russia-Ukraine war, on September 15, 2022 in Balakliia, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine.
Russian forces have dealt with a massive amount of causalities due to the Ukraine War.

Dead civilians and an armored personnel carrier with Ukrainian soldiers seen on a highway in Bucha, Kyiv region.
Over 100,000 Russian troops have been “eliminated.”


Corpse of a Russian soldier, died in conflicts within Russia-Ukraine war, on September 15, 2022 in Balakliia, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine.
The Ukraine War has become Europe’s largest conflict since WWII.

An abandoned Russian military tank is seen after Russian Forces withdrew from Balakliia as Russia-Ukraine war continues on September 15, 2022 in Balakliia, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine.
A top U.S. general called the war “very, very bloody.”


However, the general added that would only happen “when the end state – which is a free sovereign, independent Ukraine with its territory intact is met.”

“When that day comes, then people sit down and negotiate an end to this, but there’s been a huge amount of suffering on both sides.”

Despite Russia’s losses, Moscow likely still has close to the strength of its original invasion force to hand after Russian President Vladimir Putin embarked on a massive recruitment drive late last year.

“The Russians did a call up … [a] mobilization of 300,000. I think they were able to get maybe 250,000 – something in that range,” Milley said. “So they’re replacing their losses in terms of manpower, but they have suffered a huge amount.”

Senior US defense officials are predicting a brutal spring of fighting as Russia plots a renewed offensive after the war’s first anniversary on Feb. 24.

However, Milley believed Ukraine would keep up its tough fight as Kyiv has successfully launched several counter-offenses across the country.

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin (L) and the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley give a press conference during the Ukraine Defence Contact Group meeting at the US Air Base in Ramstein, western Germany, on January 20, 2023.
Milley, a top U.S. general, estimated in November Ukraine had lost roughly the same amount of troops as Russia.

A photograph taken on March 7, 2022 shows a serviceman's dead body near a Russian destroyed military vehicle in a forest outside Ukraine's second-biggest city of Kharkiv.
The general said the war in Ukraine is Putin’s “war of choice.”


Mark Milley, General of the U.S. Army, attends a press conference on the Ukraine conference at the U.S. Ramstein Airbase.
Milley believes Ukraine will keep on fighting, with the war-torn country launching several counter-offenses.


“I don’t want to predict one way or the other but the Ukrainian forces so far have executed at least two – and perhaps even more than that – very successful offensive operations,” he said. “One up around Kharkiv … and over into the Russian lines to the east of Kharkiv and then they’ve run a very successful operation down in Kherson.”

The latest $2.5 billion US security assistance package announced Thursday is designed to help Ukraine combat the predicted Russian offensive. It includes 90 Stryker combat vehicles and 59 Bradley Fighting Vehicles for infantry, as well as National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems munitions, eight Avenger air defense systems and various additional combat vehicles, missiles and ammunition.

With that aid, plus additional donations by allied countries – including the United Kingdom’s dispatch of 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks – Milley said he believed Ukraine is not only prepared to fight off Russian attacks, but to launch its own operations to take back Ukrainian land now under Russian control.

“I do think it’s very very possible for the Ukrainians to run a significant tactical or even operational level offensive operation to liberate as much Ukrainian territory as possible,” he said.

“President Putin could end this war today – he started it, it’s his war of choice,” Milley added. “It’s turning into an absolute catastrophe for Russia: massive amounts of casualties, lots of other damage to the Russian military, etc. So he should end this war right now, right today.”

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