Why UK's Defence Chief Thinks Russia Has Still 'Strategically' Lost Despite 'Tiny Gains'

Allegedly, 15,000 Russian millionaires have applied to leave the country, suggesting the country's elite are losing faith too.
Vladimir Putin has lost around 25% of Russia's land power through the war
Vladimir Putin has lost around 25% of Russia's land power through the war
MIKHAIL METZEL via Getty Images

Russia will “never take control” of Ukraine and has already “strategically” lost, according to the head of the UK’s armed forces.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin told PA media agency this week that President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is already a “more diminished power” due to the war as the conflict approaches its fifth month.

He explained: “This is a dreadful mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine.”

He claimed that the Putin has now lost 25% of Russia’s land power in exchange for “tiny” gains, meaning it was going to become a “more diminished power”.

Radkin claimed that Russia’s efforts have strengthened Nato too, even though one of Putin’s supposed aims with his Ukraine invasion was to weak the alliance.

“Russia has strategically lost already,” Radakin said. “Nato is stronger, Finland and Sweden are looking to join.”

The war also appears to have accelerated Ukraine’s attempts to join the EU (another institution despised by the Kremlin) with the bloc announcing on Friday that it wants Ukrainians to “live with us the European dream”.

Radakin then alleged that Putin might still go on to achieve “tactical successes” with his invasion of Ukraine but it has all been for “tiny gains”, as seen in the Donbas, for “significant resource cost”.

“The Russia machine is grinding away and it’s gaining a couple of – two, three, five – kilometres every day.

“And Russia has vulnerabilities because it’s running out of people, it’s running out of hi-tech missiles.

“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. Russia is failing.”

Head of the UK Armed Forces and chief of defence, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, poured cold water over Russia's chances of victory
Head of the UK Armed Forces and chief of defence, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, poured cold water over Russia's chances of victory
Andrew Milligan - PA Images via Getty Images

A report from the Ministry of Defence earlier this month also explained just how short the Russian forces are of their goals.

In a Twitter post, the government arm said: “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.”

In its most recent update, the MoD also touched on how the general public in Russia are coping, claiming that the war has “accelerated the state’s long-term trajectory towards authoritarianism”.

The Russian parliament is considering introducing a 20-year sentence for any Russian who opposes the Russian Federation, and criminalising speaking out against the invasion.

It also suggests that some Russians having been working alongside the Ukrainian military, while the “business elite and oligarch community” are particularly sceptical about the war.

Allegedly, 15,000 Russian millionaires (in US dollars) have applied to leave the country, potentially due to “personal opposition to the invasion and an intent to escape the financial impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia”.

The MoD concluded: “Should this exodus continue, it will likely exacerbate the war’s long-term damage to Russia’s economy.”

However, Russia remains determined not to publicly admit the war is not going to plan.

The Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov even told the BBC on Thursday: “We didn’t invade Ukraine.

“We declared a special military operation because we had absolutely no other way of explaining to the west that dragging Ukraine into Nato was a criminal act.”

He also alleged that international diplomats – including UN chiefs – are “being used to amplify fake news spread by the west” when cornered about the war crimes against civilians Russia has been accused of.

Lavrov added: “Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed of showing who we are.”


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