Vladimir Putin’s forces are “in a mess” with eight Russian aircraft shot down in one day, nearly 500 soldiers killed and a huge convoy of 15,000 troops and hundreds of vehicles at a standstill
Vladimir Putin’s forces have been “decimated” by the Ukrainian resistance and Russia could lose the war, according to a top UK admiral.
As the Russian President vows to press on with the invasion, Chief of the Defense Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said the invasion in Ukraine “is not going well” for the Kremlin.
He added Putin’s forces are “in a mess” with eight Russian aircraft shot down in one day, losing 1,000 troops a day and a huge convoy of 15,000 soldiers and hundreds of vehicles at a standstill.
Asked whether Russia taking over Ukraine was ‘inevitable’, Sir Tony told the BBC: “No. I think we’ve seen a Russian invasion that is not going well.
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“I think we’re also seeing remarkable resistance by Ukraine, both its armed forces and its people and we’re seeing the unity of the whole globe coming together, applying pressure to Russia.
“Russia is suffering, Russia is an isolated power. It is less powerful than it was ten days ago. Some of the lead elements of Russian forces have been decimated by the Ukrainian response.
“You’ve also seen basic failures in terms of maintenance and their kit failing. Russia hasn’t operated at this scale since the Second World War and it is incredibly complex and difficult.”
However, he said the key call of Kyiv – a no-fly zone – would not help those on the ground.
Ukrainian leaders have repeatedly called for a no-fly zone but Putin warned that imposing one would be considered “participation in the armed conflict”.
Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
Nato has ruled it out as the alliance fears it would spark a wider conflict.
General Philip Breedlove, a former Nato Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told Times Radio allies should enforce a humanitarian no-fly zone, with different rules of engagement than a military one “whereby we talk to our enemy, and we say, we are not going to fire on you unless you fire on us”.
State Emergency Service of Ukraine)
On Sunday, Ukrainian newspaper The Kyiv Independent reported the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky had reiterated his demand as he said: “The world has the power to close our skies for Russian rockets and aircraft.”
Sir Tony told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “The advice that we as senior military professionals are giving our politicians is to avoid doing things that are tactically ineffective and definitely to avoid doing things that tactically might lead to miscalculation or escalation.
“The no-fly zone would not help.
The unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine by Russian forces on the command of President Vladimir Putin has sparked bloodshed and chaos.
With Putin’s troops shelling cities across Ukraine and the nation’s army vowing to fight to the death to defend their land, observers fear the death toll will be enormous.
On Sunday, February 27, Ukraine’s health minister reported that at least 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the Russian invasion began, and more than 1,000 wounded.
On March 1, Ukraine claimed to have killed 5,710 russian soldiers since the start of the invasion.
These claims have not yet been independently verified but a human rights monitoring team from the United Nations has confirmed more than 500 civilian casualties in Ukraine.
At least 136 people have been killed, including 13 children, a UN report showed on Tuesday.
Bachelet, addressing the opening session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, previously said: “Most of these civilians were killed by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and air strikes. The real figures are, I fear, considerably higher.”
It comes as Ukraine’s President accused Russia of ‘state terrorism’ on Tuesday after the indiscriminate bombing of Kharkiv.
“Most of the shelling is coming from artillery, most of the destruction is coming from artillery, it’s not coming from Russian aircraft.
“If we were to police a no-fly zone, it means that we probably have to take out Russian defense systems and we would have Nato aircraft in the air alongside Russian aircraft, and then the potential of shooting them down and then that leads to an escalation.”
The view was echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who said it would be “very difficult, very challenging”, but added “we will do everything short of that to support Ukrainians”.
MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
“We’re not going to get ourselves into a direct military conflict with Putin because that would be a massive escalation, but also that feeds Putin’s narrative,” he told Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told ITV News: “Everybody understands why we can’t have a no-fly zone, why direct military assistance is not possible. That means sanctions have to be the strongest we have ever seen, the most effective we’ see ever seen.”