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During a press conference at the Pentagon on Friday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would lead to a significant number of casualties, calling it “horrific.”
- General Milley, you laid out some pretty dire scenarios if the Russians decided to make that full move. Could you explain a little bit more? You mentioned, for example, the capital of Kiev. How disastrous could it be, in your assessment? Are you looking at massive civilian casualties? Are you looking at massive refugee flows? The impact on the security of Europe that has existed for so many decades, if the scenario you're laying out were to come true.
MARK MILLEY: And Barbara, let me first say that, as the Secretary said up front, right now we don't think final decisions have been made to conduct any sort of offensive operation into Ukraine by the Russians. And we firmly believe there's still room for diplomatic outcome here.
Having said that, given the type of forces that are arrayed, the ground maneuver forces, the artillery, the ballistic missiles, the air forces, all of it packaged together, if that was unleashed on Ukraine, it would be significant, very significant.
And it would result in a significant amount of casualties. 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. And it's not necessary. And we think a diplomatic outcome is the way to go here.