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US estimates killing of 100,000 Russian troops in Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Russia announced withdrawal from Kherson, the southern Ukrainian regional capital it seized early in the war, and a potential stalemate in fighting over the winter could provide an opportunity for the two countries to negotiate peace, Army Gen. Mark Milley said. on Wednesday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He said up to 40,000 Ukrainian civilians and “more than” 100,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded in the war, now in its ninth month. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says Ukraine ‘probably’ suffered similar military casualties, killings of as many as 40,000 civilians

“Probably the same on the Ukrainian side,” added Milley.
“There has been an enormous amount of suffering, human suffering,” he told The Economic Club of New York.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday he was open to peace talks with Russia to end the war, but only on the condition that Russia return all Ukrainian-occupied lands, provide compensation for war damage and face prosecution for war crimes.

Russia has said it is open to talks and announced this week that it had begun withdrawing from Kherson.

Zelensky warned that the Russians were faking a withdrawal from Kherson to lure the Ukrainian military into an entrenched battle in the strategic industrial port city, which is the gateway to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

Milley, the top US military officer, said Russia had massed 20,000 to 30,000 troops in Kherson and a full withdrawal could take several weeks.

“Initial indicators are that they actually do. They have publicly announced that they are doing it. I believe they are doing this to preserve their forces to restore the defense lines south of the (Dnieper) river, but that remains to be seen,” he said.

Milley said it was possible the Russians would use the retreat to rebuild their troops for a spring offensive, but “there is also an opportunity, a window of opportunity to negotiate.”

But for negotiations to have a chance, both Russia and Ukraine would have to reach a “mutual recognition” that victory “may not be achieved by military means, so you have to turn to other means,” Milley said, referring to the end. World War I as an example.

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