US says “more than 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in Ukraine”
Milley, speaking at an event hosted by the Economic Club of New York, said about 40,000 civilians have been killed or injured in the war. “There has been a tremendous amount of human suffering,” he added. The Washington Post could not independently verify the numbers.
Milli’s figure represents a sharp increase from the Pentagon’s August estimate of 70,000 to 80,000 Russian casualties. For comparison, the Soviet Union said in 1988 that it lost more than 13 thousand soldiers, and more than 35 thousand were wounded, in Afghanistan during the war fought there.
It comes as the Biden administration has encouraged Ukraine to be more open to talks with Russia amid growing concern in the West about the cost of a protracted conflict that has soared energy and food prices.
The United States in particular asks Ukraine to show that it is open to negotiating with Russia
Officials in Kyiv say they are open to negotiations with Russia but have set preconditions, including a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, an agreement on Russia’s compensation for war damage and security guarantees from other countries.
As The Post reported, the Biden administration’s outreach to Ukraine over peace talks has included a request for officials there to drop their public refusal to negotiate with the Russian leader, President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin has also indicated that it is open to talks, but its preconditions appear to conflict with those of Ukraine: After Russia illegally annexed four regions of Ukraine, Putin said the “only path to peace” was for Ukraine and the West to realize that the people in Luhansk Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya “become our compatriots forever.”
Despite the differences in demands between the two sides, Milley said the winter could create opportunities for peace negotiations, as Russia ordered its forces to withdraw from the strategic southern city of Kherson on Wednesday. But first, he said, both sides had to realize that a complete military victory “may not be achievable” in this conflict, “and therefore you need to resort to other means.”
What do you know about Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson?
Ukrainian officials indicated that Russia could only pretend to withdraw from Kherson in an attempt to draw Ukrainian forces into a fight for control of the city. Mikhailo Podolak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, warned on Wednesday that Ukraine does not see “indications” of a unilateral withdrawal.
Actions speak louder than words. We see no signs of Russia leaving Kherson without a fight. Part of the ru group is preserved in the city, and additional reserves are loaded into the area. 🇺🇦 Edits regions based on intelligence data, not fake TV data.
– Михайло Подоляк (Podolyak_M) November 9, 2022
US officials have also indicated that they are cautious about reports of a Russian withdrawal. Cal, the Defense Department’s undersecretary for policy, said Tuesday that “there are some indications that the Russians intend to withdraw to the eastern bank of the Dnieper.” “We’ll have to see how that happens.”
But Milley said on Wednesday of the withdrawal: “The initial indications are that they are in fact doing it. They have made the public announcement that they are doing so.”
He said it could take weeks for Russia to withdraw its forces – 20,000 to 30,000 in Kherson – and noted that the withdrawal could be a strategic move “to preserve their strength to re-establish defensive lines in southern Iraq.” [Dnieper] River, but that is not yet clear.”
In the meantime, Mielle said, there is a “window of opportunity for negotiation”.
White House says ‘lines of communication’ with Russia remain open
“When peace can be achieved, seize it,” he said He said. “Hold on to the moment.”
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