Top U.S. General Reveals Grim Assessment of Ukraine’s Battlefield Deaths

Read Time:3 Minute, 25 Second

As for whether Ukraine can sustain its staggering losses against the Russian invaders, Gen. Mark Milley said, ‘This is an existential threat. They’re fighting for the very life of their country.’

The top U.S. military officer on Wednesday confirmed staggering statistics of the Ukrainian military’s battlefield losses as their war with Russia devolves into a grinding, one-sided artillery battle in the country’s east.

Speaking alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Brussels after meeting with allies involved in supporting Ukraine, Gen. Mark Milley said public assessments that as many as 200 Ukrainians soldiers are dying every day match the American military’s understanding of the battlefield carnage.

The Ukrainian military is suffering from roughly 100 killed-in-action every day, and 100 to 300 wounded-in action, said Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His comments came shortly after a Ukrainian official leading negotiations with Russia stated as many as 1,000 Ukrainian troops are dying every day.

Milley offered a grim analysis of whether these levels are sustainable for the forces loyal to Kyiv.

“This is an existential threat. They’re fighting for the very life of their country,” the veteran commander of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan said. “So, your ability to endure suffering, to endure casualties is directly proportional to the object to be attained.

“If the object to be attained is the survival of your country, you’re going to sustain it,” he concluded, provided adequate leadership remains in place and the military receives the equipment it needs to keep fighting.

That last point has come under particular scrutiny in recent days. Questions have emerged among analysts – and echoed by some Ukrainian officials publicly – that the Biden administration has not acted swiftly enough in arming Ukraine’s army while also standing by its stated goal of not provoking Russia into a broader war elsewhere in Europe.

Ukrainian military officers operating on the front lines imparted to U.S. News this week their deep frustrations with the inadequacies of the quantity and sophistication of the equipment they’re currently fielding, particularly given what they consider a proven track record of learning how to use advanced systems swiftly.

One officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, drew particular attention to the Ukrainian military’s inability to proactively defend against Russian artillery along with the need for modern armed drones – two particular features that, he says, should surprise no one who has followed the character of Russian operations since it first invaded Ukrainian territory in 2014.

Moments before Milley and Austin’s remarks, the White House announced the U.S. would send a new aid package of $1 billion in military supplies – to include artillery and coastal defense systems as well as ammunition – and $225 million in humanitarian assistance.

But it remains unclear whether that will sufficiently offset the realities on the ground in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where U.S. officials acknowledge Russia has longer-range artillery cannons and many more of them – by a factor of 10 or even 20 – combined with sophisticated drones and other “standoff” weaponry that allow its forces to operate at a relatively safe distance. Milley himself said Wednesday that “the numbers clearly favor the Russians in terms of artillery. In terms of the numbers, they outgun and outrange.”

Austin on Wednesday dismissed questions about claims from Ukraine’s deputy defense minister that the U.S. and its allies have only provided only 10% of what Kyiv has requested. The Pentagon has acknowledged that it is not willing to provide some advanced systems because they would require too much training for the Ukrainian military to make their delivery worthwhile.

“We’ve remained focused on Ukraine’s needs,” Austin said Wednesday. “We understand what those needs are.”

When pressed later by a reporter about the deputy minister’s comments, Austin added, “We just spent time with his boss in the room next door.”

He said they had “gone down line by line” with what Ukraine has requested, as well as – he added notably – “what is relevant in this fight.”

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.