The UK’s chief of defense staff has slammed Vladimir Putin, declaring the Russian leader forgot to consider all aspects before picking a fight he cannot win.
Russia has already “strategically lost” its war with Ukraine, suffering heavy losses and strengthening NATO, the UK’s chief of defense staff said in a new interview slamming Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
“This is a dreadful mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine,” said Tony Radakin, the country’s highest-ranking military officer, adding it would emerge a “more diminished power”.
“Russia has strategically lost already. NATO is stronger, Finland and Sweden are looking to join,” he told Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency.
Radakin said Russian President Vladimir Putin may achieve “tactical successes” in the weeks to come, but had sacrificed a quarter of his country’s army power for “tiny” gains and was running out of troops and high-tech missiles.
“The Russian machine is grinding away, and it’s gaining a couple of — two, three, five — kilometers every day,” the admiral said.
“And Russia has vulnerabilities because it’s running out of people, it’s running out of high-tech missiles.
“President Putin has used about 25 per cent of his army’s power to gain a tiny amount of territory and 50,000 people either dead or injured.
“Russia is failing.” Radakin paid tribute to the “courageous” Ukrainian people, and vowed that the UK would support Kyiv “for the long haul” with more weapons.
“We’ve been providing antitank weapons, there are other elements that we’re providing and that will continue,” he said.
The Kremlin on Thursday warned against new Western weapons supplies to Ukraine as French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visited Kyiv.
“I would like to hope that the leaders of these three states and the President of Romania will not only focus on supporting Ukraine by further pumping Ukraine with weapons,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
I have added that it would be “absolutely useless and will cause further damage to the country”.
The European leaders arrived to the town perched just north of Kyiv, where residential buildings and civilian infrastructure remain damaged following Russian troops’ attempts early in the invasion to capture the capital.
They made the risky journey into the war zone by train from Poland. Kyiv is currently under curfew and explosions can be head from fighting on the western outskirts of the capital.
The trio met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, offering their ongoing support as the rest of the West continues to rally behind the war-torn nation.
“It is here that freedom fights against the world of tyranny,” says Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who calls for Ukraine to be given fast-track EU membership.
Macron praised Ukrainian “heroism” in the face of Russia’s invasion.
“It’s here, among other places, that the Ukrainians stopped the Russian army descending onto Kyiv,” the French leader said.
“It the heroism of the army, but also of the Ukrainian population. And alongside that, you have traces of barbarism.”
But the French President also had a word of warning for Zelensky amid the Ukrainian leader’s zero-compromise mindset when it comes to dealing with Vladimir Putin.
“When — as I hope — Ukraine will have won, and above all when the firing has stopped, we must negotiate. The Ukrainian president and his leaders will have to negotiate with Russia, ”he told reporters on Wednesday.
It came as US President Joe Biden announced $1 billion worth of new arms for Ukrainian forces.
The new package features howitzers, ammunition, anti-ship missile systems, and additional rockets for new artillery systems that Ukraine will soon put in the field.
Biden said that he told Zelensky in a phone call Wednesday that “the United States will stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and support its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression.
“The bravery, resilience, and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to inspire the world.”
— with AFP