WASHINGTON – Russia’s announced withdrawal from Kherson, a regional capital in southern Ukraine it captured earlier in the war, and a possible stalemate in fighting over the winter could provide an opportunity for both countries to negotiate peace, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the joint This was announced by the chiefs of staff on Wednesday.
He said up to 40,000 Ukrainian civilians and “well over” 100,000 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded in war, now in the ninth month. “Probably the same on the Ukrainian side,” Milley added.
“There was an enormous amount of suffering, human suffering,” he said at the Economic Club of New York.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday he was open to talks with Russia to end the war, but only on the condition that Russia return all occupied territories of Ukraine, provide compensation for war damage and be prosecuted for war crimes.
Russia has agreed to talks and announced this week that it has begun withdrawing from Kherson.
Zelenskyy warned that the Russians are fake an excerpt from Cherson to lure the Ukrainian army into an entrenched battle in the strategic industrial port city, a gateway to the Russian-held Crimean peninsula.
Milley, the top US military officer, said Russia had amassed 20,000 to 30,000 troops in Kherson and a full withdrawal could take several weeks.
“The first signs are that they actually do. They made the public announcement that they do. I believe they are doing this to maintain their forces to restore defense lines south of the river (Dnieper), but that remains to be seen,” he said.
Milley said it was possible the Russians would use the retreat to refocus their troops for a spring offensive, but “there is also an opportunity here, a window of opportunity for negotiations.”
But for negotiations to have a chance, both Russia and Ukraine would need to reach a “mutual recognition” that military victory “may not be achievable by military means and therefore one must turn to other means,” Milley said, citing the End of World War I as an example.
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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/11/10/100000-russian-troops-killed-or-injured-in-ukraine-us-says/ 100,000 Russian soldiers killed or injured in Ukraine, US says