Sullivan made an appearance during the afternoon White House press briefing and was asked how long Russia could operate with such high casualties, which are now said to top 100,000 soldiers killed or wounded.
“The numbers are really quite striking,” Sullivan said. “We’re talking about an immense amount of suffering on the part not just of those who have died or been injured in the war, but their families and their communities across Russia.”
Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that as many as 40,000 Ukrainian civilians and “well over” 100,000 soldiers have been killed or wounded in the war, adding up to a tremendous amount of human suffering.
Sullivan suggested the casualty numbers mean that Russia should end its invasion.
“One of the reasons why we believe that Russia should end this war and leave Ukraine is for the good of those families and communities,” he said.
But Sullivan alluded to the midterm elections in adding that he didn’t know how people inside Russia feel, saying that it’s difficult to project public opinion domestically, much less in a foreign country.
“It’s clear that the fact of Russian military losses on the battlefield is having an impact on their ability to hold territory in Ukraine,” Sullivan said. “But the larger question about how long [the war lasts] is not one that I can put a timetable on, because war is inherently unpredictable.”