The head of Britain’s armed forces said Russia had already “strategically lost” the war in Ukraine and was now a “more diminished power”.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Russia suffered heavy losses, lacked troops and advanced missiles and would never be able to take control of all of Ukraine.
“This is a terrible mistake on Russia’s part. Russia will never take over Ukraine,” Tony Radakin told PA Media in an interview published Friday.
The country’s highest-ranking military officer says Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost 25% of Russia’s ground power for only ‘tiny’ gains and will emerge as ‘more diminished power’ while by strengthening NATO.
“Russia has already strategically lost. NATO is stronger, Finland and Sweden are looking to join,” he said.
Radakin said while Putin could achieve ‘tactical successes’ in the coming weeks, it came at the expense of a quarter of his country’s military might for ‘tiny’ gains and lacked troops and high-tech missiles.
“The Russian machine is moving away, and it is gaining a few – two, three, five – kilometers every day,” the admiral said.
“And Russia has vulnerabilities because it lacks personnel, it lacks high-tech missiles.
“President Putin used about 25% of the power of his army to win a tiny piece of territory and 50,000 dead or wounded. Russia is failing.
Radakin’s claims echo British intelligence reports, the latest of which says some Russian Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) – usually made up of around 600 to 800 personnel – were only able to muster 30 soldiers.
Although Russia is achieving tactical successes in the Donbass, these recent successes have come at a “significant resource cost” and concentrating force and fire on only one part of the overall campaign.
“Compared to Russia’s original plan, none of the strategic goals have been achieved. For Russia to achieve any form of success, it will need to continue to invest heavily in manpower and equipment, and that will likely take much longer,” reads one report.
Amid seemingly universal criticism of Russia’s nearly four-month-long campaign from the west, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave an interview to the BBC on Thursday.
“We did not invade Ukraine,” he said. “We declared a special military operation because we had absolutely no other way to explain to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO was a criminal act.”
Responding to an official UN report detailing alleged war crimes against civilians committed by Russian forces in the Ukrainian village of Yahidne in the Chernihiv region, Lavrov was asked if it was “to fight Nazis”.
“It’s a shame,” Lavrov said, “but international diplomats, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Secretary General and other UN officials, are put under pressure by the West, and very often they are used to amplify fake news spread by the West.
“Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed to show who we are.
Addressing Moscow’s relationship with the UK, Lavrov argued that he no longer believed there was “wiggle room”.
“Because both [Boris] Johnson and [Liz] Truss openly says we have to defeat Russia, we have to bring Russia to its knees. Go ahead, then do it!
The Kremlin on Thursday warned against further Western arms shipments 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 said. Peskov, adding that it would be “absolutely useless and cause further damage to the country”.