Ukraine war: ‘This is a terrible mistake’ – British armed forces chief says Russia ‘strategically lost’ | world news
Russia has “strategically lost” the war in Ukraine and is a “weaker power,” said the British armed forces chief.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Vladimir Putin used 25% of the Russian army for “tiny” gains only.
And while Russia could achieve “tactical successes” in the coming weeks, he said any notion that the war was a success was “nonsense.”
War at the “decisive moment” in Donbass – Ukraine’s latest updates
Sir Tony, the chief of the UK Defense Staff, said Russia ran out of troops and advanced missiles and would never be able to take over everything Ukraine.
His comments come as Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News that was the case “most likely” that the UK will add many hundreds more troops to a NATO force in Estonia tasked with further deterring Russia.
Sir Tony said: “This is a terrible mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine.
“Russia has already lost strategically. Nato is stronger, Finland and Sweden want to join.”
He said Moscow has been forced to abandon its goals of taking over most of Ukraine’s cities and is now engaged in a tactical battle where the fight is “tough”.
Ben Wallace speaks to Sky’s Deborah Haynes
Ambulance in Donbass “covered in blood” and “nothing is safe”.
Is Putin really sick? Why are there rumors about his health?
Sir Tony said: “The Russian machine is grinding and gaining a few – two, three, five – kilometers every day.
“And that’s tough for Ukraine, but it’s going to be a long fight. And we support Ukraine, Ukraine has shown how brave it really is.
“And Russia has vulnerabilities because it’s running out of people, it’s running out of hi-tech missiles.”
He continued, “President Putin used about 25% of his army’s power to gain a tiny piece of territory and 50,000 dead or injured.”
Russia is now a “weaker power” diplomatically and economically than it was a few months ago, he said.
“Any notion that this is a success for Russia is nonsense. Russia fails.
“There could be some tactical successes in the last few weeks. And these could continue for the next few weeks.
“But Russia is losing strategically.”
Important developments in Ukraine:
• EU leaders support Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc
• The United Nations says deaths from the fighting over the key port city of Mariupol are likely “in the thousands” and that there have been “gross violations” of international human rights law
• At least four people were killed and seven injured in an airstrike on the eastern city of Lysychansk
• A total of 660 Ukrainian families in England are either homeless or at risk of homelessness after their housing was unavailable, it has been revealed
Sir Tony said he was in touch with his Ukrainian counterpart, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who recognized they were engaged in a “tough battle” in the east.
The Defense Minister on Thursday conceded that Russia has a 20-to-1 artillery superiority in some areas of Ukraine.
But Mr Wallace told Sky’s defense and security correspondent Deborah Haynes that allies would soon be able to make “significant advances in the east of the country” as allies began providing Ukraine with large artillery and missile systems to deliver range.
Sir Tony paid tribute to the Ukrainians. “They are brave people,” he said. “They are brilliant people when it comes to how they take the fight to the Russians.
“But they’re also honest people who say they actually need help.”
He said Britain would continue its support for Ukraine and “we are in it for the long haul”.
Earlier this week Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine’s presidential aide, called on the West to help his country achieve “heavy arms parity” in the war with Russia, calling for more heavy artillery, missile systems and vehicles.
Sir Tony said he was “cautious” about terms like parity, as no single ability would determine the outcome of the war.
That Great Britain provides MLRS missile systems and has recently delivered 120 armored fighting vehicles, he said.
“We have deployed anti-tank weapons, there are other elements that we are deploying and that will continue,” he said.
“But it is the mass provided by the entire international community – and this alongside the courage and determination of the Ukrainian armed forces to fight for their territory.
“Therein lies true parity and therein lies Ukraine’s true strength.”