Vladimir Putin ‘failing on all of his military objectives’, says UK army chief

Vladimir Putin is “failing on all of his military strategic objectives”, the UK’s chief of the defence staff has said.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said pressure is mounting on the Russian president as his country’s defences weaken in the face of Ukrainian counterattacks.

It comes after UK intelligence said it was unclear whether Russia’s frontline forces have adequate reserves or morale to withstand attacks from Ukrainian forces.

Vladimir Putin is facing mounting pressure as Russia’s frontline forces weaken and Ukraine’s defences strengthen

(AP)

Sir Tony told the BBC: “At the very outset, we said that this was a strategic error by President Putin, and strategic errors lead to strategic consequences. And in this instance, it’s strategic failure.

“Putin is failing on all of his military strategic objectives. He wanted to subjugate Ukraine; that’s not going to happen.

“He wanted to take control of the capital; we saw that was defeated earlier on. We saw that he wanted to weaken Nato. Nato is now much stronger, and we have Finland and Sweden joining.

“He wants to break the international resolve. Well, actually that strengthened over this period, and he’s under pressure, his problems are mounting.”

Sir Tony added that Mr Putin does not have enough manpower or equipment to carry out his military objectives, especially as Ukrainian forces become stronger.

“We’re also seeing a magnificent Ukrainian armed forces who have been courageous, they’re fighting for their country, and they’ve embraced the international support that all of us are providing,” he said.

But he also warned that countries should remain cautious, saying: “I think it’s significant in terms of what’s happening on the ground – it’s really significant for Ukrainian morale and significant for the impact it has on Russian forces.

Ukrainian servicemen rest at a former Russian position in the recently retaken area around Izyum

(AP)

“But people need to be cautious; the likely result with all of this is that it’s going to grind on for a long time.

“And that’s why there’s a wishfulness when people jump to conclusions that either President Putin is weak, and his power base might be undermined, or that Ukraine has gained some ground and there’s been a magnificent action in the northeast. But it doesn’t automatically lead on to easy victories elsewhere.”

In a statement, the UK Ministry of Defence said Russia had escalated its attacks on civilian targets in the past seven days, despite its actions having “no immediate military effect”.

“As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” the MoD’s update said.

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