The most senior US general claims that 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died or been injured as a result of the combat in Ukraine.

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that at least 40,000 people died as a consequence of their involvement in the conflict.

These are the most optimistic projections a Western official has yet made.

He said that signs that Kyiv was ready to pick up negotiations with Moscow offered "an opportunity" for conversation.

Following President Volodymyr Zelensky's withdrawal of his demand that all communication with Moscow cease until Vladimir Putin was removed from power, Ukraine has shown a willingness to speak with Moscow.

Although a military victory "may not be attainable by military means," Gen. Milley noted that Russia and Ukraine would need to "mutually accept" this for talks to be successful.

The senior general, who serves as President Joe Biden's top military counselor, said that the death toll would convince Moscow and Kyiv to talk during the next winter, when fighting may slow down due to the cold.

"You're looking at well over 100,000 Russian soldiers killed and wounded," General Milley said. On the Ukrainian side, probably the same thing happened.

Both Ukraine and Russia take efforts to keep their death counts low.

According to Moscow's most current figures from September, which dispelled claims of a significantly larger death toll, just 5,937 servicemen have perished overall since the conflict started.

Gen. Milley's assessment is far higher. In contrast, it was thought that between 1979 and 1989, 15,000 Soviet soldiers died in the conflict in Afghanistan.

In most cases, Ukraine has refrained from sharing death toll data. The chief of the armed forces, Valeriy Zaluzhniy, was reported in Ukrainian media as saying 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers had died thus far in August.

The UN has said that it doesn't think the numbers given by warring parties are reliable.

According to Gen. Milley, there has been considerable human suffering. He said that between 15 and 30 million additional refugees had arrived since Russia's operation started on February 24.

The UN has recorded 7.8 million refugees from Ukraine in nations around Europe, including Russia. The figure does not include those who were forced to abandon their homes but are still present in Ukraine.

Kherson, a significant southern city and the only big city captured by Russian troops, will be the first major city to be abandoned, Moscow said on Wednesday.

Gen. Milley reported that while "early indications" suggested a withdrawal had begun, Russia had amassed between 20 and 30,000 men in the city and that the evacuation may take several weeks.

"They openly declared that they would carry it out. I believe they're doing it to keep their forces in place so they can re-build their defensive lines south of the [Dnieper] river, but it remains to be seen "said he.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nation's withdrawal from Kherson after mobilizing some 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine in September.

According to military experts in the West and Ukraine, the need for mobilization showed how badly Russian troops were doing on the Ukrainian battlefield.