Russian President Vladimir Putin is “failing” in his military objectives and is facing mounting problems in the war in Ukraine as Kyiv’s army continues to gain ground in its counteroffensive operations, the head of British forces has said.
Speaking on BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the head of the British Armed Forces and Chief of the Defense Staff Adm. Sir Tony Radakin also called Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine a “strategic error” that has led to “strategic consequences.”
“At the very outset, we said that this was a strategic error by President Putin and strategic errors lead to strategic consequences. And in this instance, it’s a strategic failure. Putin is failing on all of his military strategic objectives,” Radakin said.
“He wants to break the international resolve. Well, actually that strengthened over this period, and he’s under pressure, his problems are mounting. He’s always had a problem in terms of crewing the equipment that he’s got. He hasn’t got sufficient manpower. His forces are thin on the ground,” he added.
Radakin’s remarks come after Ukrainian forces liberated more than 380 settlements in the occupied Kharkiv region and recaptured about 8,500 square kilometers of territory amid their counteroffensive operations.
In addition to recapturing territory, the Ukrainian army has also killed a total of 54,480 Russian soldiers as of Sunday, according to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The mounting deaths have led multiple Russian units to “negotiate with the Ukrainians on surrender and transfer,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, claimed last week, per The New Voice of Ukraine.
On Sunday, Ukrainian intelligence also claimed that some Russian military hospitals have begun refusing to treat “volunteers” who agreed to fight on Moscow’s behalf. Other volunteer fighters were also “left behind without any support” as Russia’s forces retreat from occupied territories amid Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
At least 10 letters written by Russian soldiers and addressed to superiors were also found in the recently liberated city of Izium in Kharkiv. In the letters, the soldiers were asking to be relieved from the war due to “moral exhaustion” and “worsening” health, as first reported by The Washington Post.