The most recent occurred on Friday when the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, took it almost for granted that a Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory would be “horrible” for that country and would cause “significant” casualties.
During a press conference at the Pentagon, the senior official also suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin chooses a diplomatic path, the path he always advocated for Moscow.
Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin briefed reporters on the US military preparations for an eventual “invasion with tens of thousands of Russian soldiers massed on the Ukrainian border.”
Austin this week placed on high alert 8,500 US troops who are ready for a possible deployment in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Eastern Europe.
Milley’s comments contrast with the message of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who spoke the day before by telephone with his counterpart from the United States, Joe Biden.
According to local media, the two leaders did not agree on the urgency of the Russian threat, even Zelensky reiterated that such rhetoric risks causing panic in Ukraine.
Tensions around the Eastern European country have worsened in recent months due to continued accusations from the United States that Russia is preparing an invasion of its neighbor.
Biden, in fact, affirmed that he will apply personal sanctions to Putin, in case of ordering the incursion on Ukraine, whose practical effect the Kremlin dismissed.
Meanwhile, Russia defends the right to move forces within its own territory and accuses NATO of looking for pretexts to place more military equipment near its geographical limits.
The Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, warned that the escalation of tensions in the field of security is due to information hysteria, media manipulation, false news and the concrete actions of Washington and the Atlantic Alliance.