Putin in impossible position in Ukraine after devastating Russian losses

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has put himself in an "impossible position” with his invasion of Ukraine, the UK’s former ambassador to Russia has said.

Sir Andrew Wood has said that "nobody in Ukraine will forget what [Putin] has done” and that in itself means Russia has lost. The Russians would find it impossible to govern the country even if their invasion were eventually to succeed.

Speaking to Kay Burley on Sky News earlier today, Sir Andrew said: "He thought he was going to win it a long time before, but in fact, he's losing it heavily and I think we have to realise that he cannot win the war in the sense of achieving a settled outcome."

While exact casualty figures are hard to determine, Sir Andrew said he believes Putin has suffered more troop losses in Ukraine than the Soviets did in the humiliating Afghanistan campaign of the 1980s.

He added that any form of peace treaty between Russia and Ukraine was unlikely, saying: "I don't think there will be any real dialogue until the results in the eastern regions are clear.

"If Russia continues to lose troops at the rate they are then they can have talked about Russia retreating, essentially.

"If he wins, by slaughtering more Ukrainians, it still isn't a victory because it isn't a permanent solution."

  • Russian woman sews her own mouth shut to highlight Putin's anti-war censorship

Next Monday is a crucial date for Putin. May 9 is traditionally the date on which Russia celebrates its victory over Hitler’s Germany in 1945.

The day is marked with a huge parade that shows off the country’s military strength. But many observers suspect that the parade may have be scaled back this year – by as much as a third – because of the devastating losses Putin’s forces have suffered in Ukraine.

Putin is throwing everything he has at Ukraine in hope of securing some sort of victory. He has even deployed the notorious Wagner Group, a mercenary army known to have been involved in atrocities in war zones from Africa to the Middle East.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC Radio that May 9 would be likely to mark a significant escalation in the Russian war effort given that Putin’s forces had failed in most of their major objectives.

He said: “I think what he’s going to do is he’s going to move from his special operation, and he’s been laying the ground for being able to say, ‘Look, this is now a war against Nazis and what I need is more people, I need more Russian cannon fodder basically’.

“I would not be surprised … he is probably going to declare on May Day that, ‘We are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilise the Russian people.’”

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