Pentagon chief warns of terrible consequences if Russia invades Ukraine

WASHINGTON – Top Pentagon officials warned on Friday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would lead to “terrible” consequences.

The Chairman of the US Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin detailed the grim prospect as US and NATO forces prepare for a potential Moscow attack on neighboring countries of the former Soviet Union.

“With this type of force arrayed, ground mobility forces, artillery, ballistic missiles, air forces, it’s all brought together. That leads to a significant number of casualties and you can imagine what that would be like in dense urban areas, along roadsides, etc,” Milley said.

“It was horrible,” added Milley, the nation’s most senior military officer.

The Pentagon warning came as Russian President Vladimir Putin reviewed US diplomatic and security proposals delivered by John Sullivan, the US ambassador to Russia. Original Russian give a cold response for proposals.

“So we will wait for the Russian government’s response and assessment of our written responses,” Mr. Sullivan told reporters Friday from the US Embassy in Moscow. “And then as Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted, I expected that there would be a discussion or perhaps a meeting. But I don’t know that was not agreed.”

Milley says Russia’s posture along the Ukrainian border is unlike anything he has seen during his four-decade military career. He said the Russians have deployed air, naval, special forces, cyber-electronic warfare, command and control, logistics engineers and other capabilities along the Ukrainian border.

“I think you’d have to go back quite a bit to the Cold War days to see something of this magnitude,” Milley said, adding that the deployment of more than 100,000 Russian troops to the border is bigger than anything we have. found in recent memory. “

Austin called on Moscow to de-escalate tensions by removing Russian troops and military equipment from their shared border.

“Conflict is not inevitable. There is still time and space for diplomacy,” Austin said.

“He [Putin] can choose to de-escalate. He can order his troops to go. He can choose dialogue and diplomacy. Whatever he decides, the United States will stand with our allies and partners.”

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For months, the West has watched the steady build-up of Kremlin forces along Ukraine’s borders with Russia and Belarus. The increase in military presence mimics Russia’s moves before its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, a peninsula on the Black Sea, causing an international uproar and triggering a series of sanctions. penalty against Moscow.

The Kremlin dismissed reports that the deployment was a prelude to an attack and instead looked like a military exercise.

Russian officials meanwhile have repeatedly called on the US to halt the eastern expansion of the NATO military alliance.

Russia also requested that the United States “will not establish military bases” on the territory of any former Soviet Union state that is not a member of NATO, or “use its infrastructure for any military operations or development develop bilateral military cooperation with them.”

The US and NATO have said that such a request cannot be met.

Since 2002, Kyiv has sought to join NATO, the world’s most powerful military alliance.

While President Joe Biden has not committed to sending US combat troops to Ukraine, US forces can deploy to neighboring NATO member states. In addition to sharing borders with Russia and Belarus, Ukraine also has four NATO countries.

“We are ready, capable and prepared to uphold our treaty obligations to NATO,” Milley said, suggesting Clause 5 of the group“An attack against a NATO ally is an attack against all of NATO.”

Earlier this week, Mr. Biden told reporters that a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine would radically change European security. “If he moved with all those forces, it would be the biggest invasion since World War Two. It would change the world,” Biden said.

Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday, second call this monthto reaffirm Washington’s commitment to respond decisively if Russia continues to invade Ukraine.

President also told Zelenskyy that the US Embassy in Kyiv remains open and fully operational after the State Department issued a qualifying order family members of staff at its embassy in Kyiv to leave.

On Sunday, the US State Department also recommended that all US citizens in Ukraine leave the country immediately, citing Russia’s continued military buildup on the border.

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