1 of 3 | More than 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded since the beginning of that country’s military operation against Ukraine, U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday. File Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 10 (UPI) -- More than 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded since the beginning of that country's military operation against Ukraine, U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday.
Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said "well over" 100,000 Russian troops have become casualties, while the conflict has also claimed the lives of some 40,000 civilians. The civilian figure is the highest-yet reported by a U.S. official.
Milley, 64, made the comments at a conference in New York City on Thursday.
He added that Ukrainian military casualties are likely around the "same" as the Russian figures.
In August, the U.S. Department of Defense estimated that between 60,000 and 80,000 Russian troops had been "lost" at that point.
"[Vladimir] Putin has lost a tremendous amount of military capability, and they have suffered a tremendous amount of military loss. I think the Russians have severely underestimated the Ukrainian people," Milley said at the conference.
Ukrainian military officials said Wednesday that nearly 800 Russian soldiers were killed in fighting throughout the country over the past day, while Moscow attacks in the Donetsk region killed three Ukrainians.
The Ukraine general staff armed forces said it believes that 780 Russians were killed over the past 24 hours in fighting.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Wednesday ordered a withdrawal of Russian forces from the west bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region amid Ukrainian advances.
But Kyiv remained skeptical Thursday about Moscow's announcement to pull out from Kherson, which has been Russia's biggest prize during its nearly 10-month invasion of Ukraine, warning it could be a trap.
In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "partial mobilization" of reservists to bolster Moscow's military ranks in Ukraine, saying the move is necessary "to protect our motherland" from the West.