Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is far from over and will continue to drag on and become even bloodier, the former head of the Royal Navy warned.
Speaking to MailOnline, Admiral Lord Alan West said the Russian despot does not care that his people are dying in his desperate attempt to conquer the country, which he says has also thrown the global economy into chaos.
The former security minister and Cold War commander spoke as Ukraine braced for a spring offensive, which is expected to see some of the most brutal fighting since the war began on February 24, 2022.
Ukraine has exceeded expectations with its fierce defense of Kiev and subsequent counter-offensives, but West – the former First Sea Lord – said that if it were not for the supply of Western weapons, Kiev’s armies would already be pushed back.
Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is far from over and will continue to drag on and become even bloodier, warned Admiral Lord Alan West, former head of the Royal Navy. Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers drive armored vehicles along an icy road in the Donetsk region
Speaking to MailOnline, Admiral Lord Alan West (picture arrives before a service at Westminster Abbey, file photo) said the Russian despot doesn’t care if his people die in his desperate attempt to take over the country.
“I’m afraid it will be much longer and bloodier. I think if we had not given Ukraine weapons, I think they would have been pushed back. This means they won’t be,’ Lord West said.
Even then it remains a stalemate. The victims will continue. Putin doesn’t care about his people dying. He couldn’t care less.
“What he is doing is totally unacceptable. He’s a disgusting guy. He has cast a complete plague upon the world. People are starving, the world economy is in chaos – he’s an absolutely horrible man.’
His remarks alluded to attempts by Russia, and in particular the Wagner mercenary group, to take the main city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region, a city in the north that has been the center of the Russian offensive for months.
Wagner has crashed wave after wave of convict soldiers against Ukraine’s defenses in what has been compared to a World War I meat grinder.
Both sides suffered heavy casualties, but Russia in particular is reported to be using the Wagner mercenaries as cannon fodder to try and push through.
Ukraine has exceeded expectations with its fierce defense of Kiev and subsequent counter-offensives, but West – the former First Sea Lord – said that if it were not for the supply of Western weapons, Kiev’s armies would already be pushed back. Pictured: A boy stands on a destroyed Russian tank in the center of Kiev, Ukraine, January 31
Lord West’s comments came as Britain said a large Russian force advanced hundreds of meters this week in a major new assault on a Ukrainian-held bastion in southeastern Ukraine, but added it is unlikely to will force a significant breakthrough in the region.
Russian officials claimed the advance had gained a foothold in the coal mining town of Vuhledar. Kiev has admitted heavy fighting but says it has so far repelled the attack while inflicting heavy casualties on the attackers.
In an intelligence update with rare details about the battlefield, the British ministry said Russia attacked the city with a force at least the size of a brigade, a unit normally made up of several thousand troops with a full range of capabilities.
Until now, the Russians had probably advanced several hundred meters beyond the Kashlahach River from the south, which it said had been the front line for months.
The small river flows on the outskirts of the town of Pavlivka, about two kilometers south of Vuhledar.
There is a real chance that Russia will continue to make a profit locally in the sector. However, it is unlikely that Russia has enough available troops in the area to make an operationally significant breakthrough.”
It said Russian commanders were likely trying to engineer a new advance and divert Ukrainian forces away from Bakhmut.
A Ukrainian soldier uses his foot to brush snow off the top of a BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle in the Donetsk region on January 30, 2023, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Vuhledar is located at the southernmost end of the eastern front in Ukraine, overlooking the railway lines that supply Russian troops on the adjacent southern front.
Ukraine has repelled several Russian attacks on the city since the start of the war eleven months ago.
The Russian attack there comes after Moscow made significant advances around Bakhmut over the past two weeks, its biggest gain since Ukraine recaptured large swaths of territory in the second half of 2022. place since November.
Military experts say Moscow is determined to make a profit in Ukraine in the coming months before Kiev receives hundreds of newly pledged Western tanks and armored vehicles this year for a counterattack to recapture occupied territory.
Bakhmut, a city that once had a population of 100,000, appears increasingly vulnerable after Russia captured the salt mining town of Soledar in the north about a week ago.
Moscow says it has made significant further gains on both the northern and southern edges of Bakhmut; Kiev says that the city itself is not yet in danger of falling, but that there is heavy fighting.
Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin during the funeral ceremony of Vitaly Svintsitskyi at the Latin Cathedral in Lviv, January 30, 2023. Svintsitskyi was a deputy of the Lviv City Council, who joined the ranks of the Lviv City Council from the first days of the war 80th Brigade
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described Russia’s attack in the east as an attempt to exact “revenge” for its previous losses.
“And I think they won’t be able to deliver their society a convincingly positive result on the offensive. I have faith in our military. We will stop them all little by little, destroy them and prepare our great counter-offensive,” he said Monday.
Kiev says the Russian attacks in recent weeks have come at a huge cost, initially relying mainly on mercenaries, including thousands of convicts who were recruited from Russian prisons and sent into battle in human waves without proper training or equipment.
But Russia’s call-up of hundreds of thousands of reservists late last year means Moscow has now been able to reconstitute regular military units that had been depleted or depleted earlier in the war.
A statement from the British Ministry of Defense said that the attack on Vuhledar was led by a unit of Russian naval infantry that had attempted to attack the town in November but had been unsuccessful.