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The head of the UK’s Armed Forces, Tony Radakin, stated on Thursday that the current position of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been weakened after his invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at an event organized by the UK’s Institute for Government (IfG) think tank, Admiral Radakin said that the scenes coming out of Mariupol and elsewhere are appalling and the coming weeks will continue to be very difficult.
“In many ways,” he said, “Putin has already lost. Far from being the far-sighted manipulator of events that he would have us believe, Putin has damaged himself through a series of catastrophic misjudgements.”
Radakin stated that, “like all authoritarians, [Putin] allowed himself to be misled as to his own strength, including the effectiveness of the Russian armed forces.”
“And lastly, he has failed to anticipate the unity and cohesion that exists among the free nations of the world, here in Europe and obviously far beyond. His actions to date have done more to galvanise than divide and have shown Ukraine to have the one thing Russia conspicuously lacks — real friends,” he stressed.
He also added that “what is very clear is that Putin is a weaker and more diminished figure today than he was a month ago, and conversely NATO is stronger and more united today than at any time I can remember.”
The Armed Forces official also stressed that Russian troops are withdrawing in Ukraine: “And it looks now that less emphasis is being placed on Kyiv and more emphasis is being placed on the east and the south,” he said, noting that there are “early indications of those forces being moved back from Kyiv and retreating to both Russia and Belarus.”
“I think we are seeing that Russia’s ambitions to take Kyiv and Russia’s ambitions to take the whole of Ukraine and do that in a very swift and impressive fashion, those ambitions have fallen apart,” he noted.