Top US general says Russia has already 'lost' the Ukraine war and has paid an 'enormous price on the battlefield'

Gen. Mark Milley speaking during a press conference.
Gen. Mark Milley during a press conference at NATO HQ on February 14, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.Dursun Aydemir/Getty Images
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  • Gen. Mark Milley said Russia has "lost" in Ukraine as the war approaches the one-year mark.

  • "They've lost strategically, operationally, and tactically," Milley said.

  • Russia has suffered massive casualties in Ukraine and failed in its initial war aims.

As the war in Ukraine approaches the one-year mark, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Tuesday that Russia has "lost."

Russian President Vladimir Putin "thought he could defeat Ukraine quickly, fracture the NATO alliance, and act with impunity. He was wrong," Milley said while speaking to reporters in Brussels.

The top US general ripped into Moscow for launching an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, emphasizing that Russia has paid an "enormous price on the battlefield" as a consequence.

"Russia is now a global pariah and the world remains inspired by Ukrainian bravery and resilience. In short, Russia has lost — they've lost strategically, operationally, and tactically," Milley added.

Milley's comments echoed an assessment from Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the United Kingdom's chief of defense staff, who in December said "Russia is losing" and the "free world is winning."

When Russia invaded Ukraine last February, it was widely expected to conquer Kyiv in a matter of days. But Russian forces failed in that objective as Ukrainian troops put up a far stiffer resistance than expected. With the help of Western-supplied weapons, Ukraine has continued to defy expectations in this war.

Over the course of 2022, the fighting largely shifted to Ukraine's east and the conflict morphed into a brutal, grinding war of attrition.

Putin illegally annexed four Ukrainian regions in September, claiming them as part of Russia, despite the fact that Russian forces did not fully occupy these regions. A Ukrainian counteroffensive pushed Russian forces into retreat in parts of these territories — including Kherson, the first major city Russia occupied after the invasion.

The war is raging on, and Russia, which mobilized hundreds of thousands of additional troops, has seemingly begun a new offensive in the east with the goal of swallowing the Donbas region — comprised of Donetsk and Luhansk, two of the regions Putin illegally annexed. Russian gains have been limited though.

Both sides have experienced heavy losses since the invasion began. Russian casualties estimated to be nearing 200,000.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that Putin is unfazed by the high rate of casualties and is vying to overwhelm Ukrainian forces with sheer numbers.

Putin is "sending thousands and thousands of more troops, accepting a very high rate of casualty, taking big losses, but putting pressure on the Ukrainians," the NATO chief said on Monday, adding, "What Russia lacks in quality, they try to compensate in quantity."

Read the original article on Business Insider