The US Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, asked US forces stationed in Europe to demonstrate their determination to prevent a "great-power war" after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mark Milley sends a message to the soldiers in Europe
Milley affirmed NATO's ability to confront the unprecedented threat posed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Milley is on a tour of Europe to confirm Washington's "determination" to defend the eastern flank of NATO from the Russian invasion.

And the alliance countries scrambled to deploy thousands of soldiers to countries closest to Russia in light of the fighting in Ukraine, which is not part of NATO.

"We have to make sure that we can respond quickly, show our strength, determination and support for NATO to prevent any further aggression from the Russians and prevent the outbreak of war between the great powers," Milley told US soldiers deployed at an air base near Constana in southern Romania.

He added: "Since 1914, from the beginning of the First World War until 1945, that is, the end of the Second World War... 150 million people were killed... We do not want that to happen at all."

"What is clear to me is the unity and determination of NATO in the face of an unprecedented threat and the largest territorial dispute on the continent of Europe since 1945," he told AFP.

The United States currently has about 67,000 permanent troops stationed in Europe.

Some 15,000 additional troops have been deployed in recent weeks to a 1,200-kilometer-wide area in countries neighboring Ukraine and Russia's ally Belarus, to discourage Moscow from advancing further.

A total of 2,500 US troops are deployed in the three Baltic states - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - in addition to 10,000 troops in Poland, 2,400 in Romania, 1,500 in Slovakia, 350 in Bulgaria and 200 in Hungary.

Milly visited five of these countries in five days.

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