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If Russia invades Ukraine, there will be ‘horrific’ destruction and casualties

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, faces reporters asking questions about Russia and the crisis in the Ukraine during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The conclusion would be “horrific” and result in substantial losses if Russia uses the forces it has gathered along Ukraine’s border to invade its neighbour, according to the senior U.S. military general, who compared the situation to the Cold War.

The news: The remarks were given by Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, amid shaky Russia-U.S. diplomacy in a broader East-West conflict over Ukraine. Moscow has requested that NATO withdraw its troops and weaponry from Eastern Europe and that Ukraine be denied membership in the military alliance.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin answers a question from the news media about Russia and the crisis in the Ukraine during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • Washington and its NATO allies reject this viewpoint, but say they are willing to talk about other issues such as arms control and confidence-building measures to persuade Russia to move its soldiers back from the Ukraine-Russia border.

What Milley said: At a Pentagon news conference, he said that given the types of troops Russia has assembled, “if that was unleashed on Ukraine, it would be significant, very significant, and it would result in a significant amount of casualties.”

  • He added, “And you can imagine what that might look like in dense urban areas, along roads and so on and so forth. It would be horrific, it would be terrible.”
General Mark Milley, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, answers questions from reporters about Russia and the crisis in the Ukraine during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

What Austin said: While the U.S. does not believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a choice on whether or not to invade, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin acknowledged that he now has the military capabilities to do so.

  • He stated that the U.S. is committed to combating Russian disinformation, particularly anything that could be used as a justification for assaults on Ukraine.
  • He also stated that the U.S. was committed to assisting Ukraine in its defence, noting that the U.S. had provided additional anti-armour equipment.
If Russia unleashes the forces it has amassed near Ukraine’s border to invade its neighbour, the outcome would be “horrific” and result in significant casualties Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Friday
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