Claims by Russian military officials that their ongoing invasion of Ukraine has been successful are “nonsense”, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff and head of the British Armed Forces said on Friday, June 17.
“This is a dreadful mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine” Sir Tony said. “Russia has strategically lost already. NATO is stronger, Finland and Sweden are looking to join.”
“The Russian machine is grinding away, and it’s gaining a couple of – two, three, five – kilometers every day. And that’s tough for Ukraine, but this is going to be a long fight. And we’re supporting Ukraine, Ukraine has shown how courageous it really is. Russia has vulnerabilities because it’s running out of people, it’s running out of hi-tech missiles.”
Sir Tony also stated Russia had shot itself in the foot and that its power and position on the world stage was “more diminished” than several months ago.
Speaking of troop losses, he added:
“President Putin has used about 25% of his army’s power to gain a tiny amount of territory and 50,000 people either dead or injured. Any notion that this is a success for Russia is nonsense. Russia is failing. It might be getting some tactical successes over the last few weeks. And those might continue for the next few weeks. But Russia is losing strategically.”
Admiral Radakin’s words are corroborated by recent British intelligence reports which say that some Russian battalion tactical groups (BTGs) typically consisting of between 600 to 800 troops, have only been able to recruit as few as 30 soldiers. Intelligence also reiterates that Putin’s initial desire to capture Kyiv and other areas within days has severely backfired.
“Measured against Russia’s original plan, none of the strategic objectives have been achieved. In order for Russia to achieve any form of success will require continued huge investment of manpower and equipment, and is likely to take considerable further time,” one of the British Intelligence reports said.
Meanwhile, the invasion is creating more long-term problems for the increasingly isolated nation, with Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, telling Sky News on Thursday, June 16 that Nato allies are now expected to send many hundreds of additional troops into Estonia and other regions.
Mr Wallace said that allies are currently considering a dramatic increase in the size of military units deployed across the alliance’s eastern flank, in a bid to further buffer against Russia.
In addition, Germany has already committed 3,5000 troops to join the Nato unit it leads in Lithuania.
“The key areas of discussion are how our forces are going to be distributed – how permanent versus how deployable, versus how ready, will be the main area of discussion,” Mr Wallace told a group of reporters.
Nations such as Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria have also been provided with Enhanced Forward Presence units over the past years, due to the high risk they face from Russia, being at close geographical proximity. This year, the number of troops deployed to those regions increased, with Nato members set to further discuss boosting troop numbers in these areas when they meet at the Madrid Summit.
The two-day summit, which is being held on Wednesday, June 29, will see Nato Leaders gather in Spain to discuss the war in Ukraine, agree on further support packages and troop deployments, and set Nato’s strategic direction for the next decade, with a special focus being placed on how the western world will, long-term, continue to work together against Russian aggression.
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