Prepare to fight and beat Russia in a Third World War, says UK general

Prepare to fight and beat Russia in a Third World War, Britain’s top general warns: New UK Army commander tells troops to brace for European land war in tub-thumping message as tyrant Putin menaces ex-Soviet states

  • Britain’s top army general has warned UK troops to prepare to fight and beat Putin’s armies in a land war 
  • General Sir Patrick Sanders warned soldiers ‘we must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again’
  • It comes as Russian tyrant Putin menaces NATO countries and taunts ex-Soviet states in Europe

Britain’s top army general has told his troops to prepare to fight and beat Putin’s armies in a European land war, it has emerged tonight.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, who assumed overall command of the British Army this week, warned soldiers ‘we are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again’ as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rocks global stability.

In a tub-thumping message to British troops, he wrote: ‘I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power… The scale of the enduring threat from Russia shows we’ve entered a new era of insecurity.

‘It is my singular duty to make our Army as lethal and effective as it can be. The time is now and the opportunity is ours to seize.’

It comes as Putin menaces NATO countries and this week taunted former Soviet states in Europe by declaring: ‘They are part of historic Russia’.


General Sir Patrick Sanders has warned his troops to prepare to fight and beat Putin’s armies in a European land war

‘It is my singular duty to make our Army as lethal and effective as it can be,’ the commander of the Army said, adding: ‘The time is now and the opportunity is ours to seize’ (Royal Marines pictured in action)

The Russian President sat quietly, considering Tokayev’s comments, before appearing to deliver a calm but quietly menacing warning. ‘What is the Soviet Union?’ Putin asked rhetorically. ‘This is historic Russia’

Putin made the comments in response to a dramatic statement by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who sensationally declared he did not recognise the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

Tokayev, sat metres away from the brooding Russian despot at the St Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) yesterday, described the DPR and LPR as ‘quasi-state territories’.

‘We don’t recognise Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia or Abkhazia… we apply this principle to the quasi-state territories, which in our view, are the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics’, the Kazakh President said in a daring defiance of Putin’s war in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian President sat quietly, considering Tokayev’s comments, before appearing to deliver a calm but quietly menacing warning.

‘What is the Soviet Union?’ Putin asked rhetorically. ‘This is historic Russia.’

He went on to paint Kazakhstan as a nation friendly to Russia, but quickly added: ‘The same thing could have happened with Ukraine, but they wouldn’t be our allies.’

Maximilian Hess, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The Telegraph that Putin’s retort to Tokayev was a ‘clear threat’ and argued that Tokayev was reliant on Russian support following widespread riots in Kazakhstan in January, which were only quelled with the help of Russian paratroopers operating under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – an eastern security bloc similar to NATO. 

In a lengthy speech at the SPIEF conference, Putin went on to accuse the US of ‘playing God’ and treating countries like ‘colonies’ as he brushed off the impact of Western sanctions on Russia’s economy.

Amid a lengthy denunciation of America and its allies, Putin, 69, warned ‘nothing will be as it used to be’ as he delivered his address, which was delayed by 90 minutes after the event suffered a cyber attack.

When he eventually took to the stage, Putin issued a thinly-veiled threat to oligarchs thinking of quitting his regime. 

‘It’s safer in your own house,’ he said. ‘Those who didn’t want to listen to this have lost millions abroad.’ 

‘We don’t recognise Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia or Abkhazia… we apply this principle to the quasi-state territories, which in our view, are the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics’, the Kazakh President said in a daring defiance of Putin’s war in eastern Ukraine

Putin addressed Russia’s political and economic elite at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, a showcase event this year being held with almost no Western participation

He went on to announce that Western allies ‘think they have won’ and said Moscow’s war in Ukraine had become a ‘lifesaver for the West to blame all the problems on Russia.’ 

He added that the US considers itself ‘God’s emissary on Earth’, and that Western sanctions were founded on a false premise that Russia had no economic sovereignty.

Moving on to focus on his so-called ‘special military operation’, Putin said the main aim of the incursion was to defend ‘our’ people in the largely Russian-speaking Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Putin said the Russian soldiers in the Donbas were also fighting to defend Russia’s own ‘rights to secure development’.

‘The West has fundamentally refused to fulfil its earlier obligations, it turned out to be simply impossible to reach any new agreements with it,’ Putin said.

‘In the current situation, against a backdrop of increasing risks for us and threats, Russia’s decision to conduct a special military operation was forced – difficult, of course, but forced and necessary.’

Boris urges world leaders to hold their nerve for a long war in Ukraine or risk the ‘greatest victory for aggression in Europe since WW2’ in dig at Macron’s plea to ‘make nice’ with warmonger Putin

  • Boris Johnson today declared that Western leaders must steel themselves for a drawn-out conflict in Ukraine
  • PM said Ukraine should not have to accept a ‘bad peace’, urging Western leaders to offer continued support
  • He also told Ukrainian officials the UK is prepared to train tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers for combat 
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warmly welcomed the PM as they toured the Kyiv streets yesterday
  • His demeanour was far less positive when he met French President Macron and other EU leaders on Thursday

 By DAVID AVERRE for MailOnline

Boris Johnson has urged world leaders to hold their nerve for a long war in Ukraine, or risk the ‘greatest victory for aggression in Europe since the Second World War’.

In a thinly-veiled barb at Emmanuel Macron’s pleas to ‘make nice’ with warmonger Putin, the Prime Minister has said a Russian victory in Ukraine would be ‘catastrophic’ and urged the international community to use its power to expel Moscow’s invading armies.

‘We’ve got to make it clear that we are supporting the Ukrainians in their ambitions… to expel the Russians, expel Putin’s armies, from everything that he has obtained since February 24, and make sure the Ukrainians are not encouraged to go for a bad peace, something that simply wouldn’t endure.’

Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said: ‘Time is now the vital factor. Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack. Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine’s side.’

The Tory leader, himself battling inflation spiralling domestic fuel prices, told allies that economic concerns should not lead to a rushed settlement in war-torn Ukraine.

Allowing Russia to keep territory in Ukraine ‘would be the greatest victory for aggression in Europe since the Second World War’, Mr Johnson added.

Whereas Volodymyr Zelensky has praised Mr Johnson’s acts of friendship, the Ukrainian President has blasted Macron’s excuses for Putin – leading to a now-infamous PR gaffe which saw Zelensky scowl at the floor while the French leader hugged him.

Speaking after his second visit to Kyiv, Mr Johnson said: ‘It would a catastrophe if Putin won. He’d love nothing more than to say ”Let’s freeze this conflict, let’s have a ceasefire like we had back in 2014”. For him, that would be a tremendous victory. You’d have a situation in which Putin was able to consolidate his gains and then to launch another attack.

‘We’ve got to make it clear that we are supporting the Ukrainians in their ambitions… to expel the Russians, expel Putin’s armies, from everything that he has obtained since February 24, and make sure the Ukrainians are not encouraged to go for a bad peace, something that simply wouldn’t endure.’

Mr Johnson’s visit to Kyiv was warmly welcomed by the Ukrainians, with television footage of Mr Zelensky showing the Prime Minister the wreckage of burned out Russian tanks and other vehicles on display in Kyiv’s St Michael’s Square. 

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to members of the media after arriving at RAF Brize Norton, west of London having returned from Kyiv in Ukraine, on June 18, 2022

Mr Zelensky has been open in his gratitude for Britain’s support in the war against Russia thus far and appeared very happy to host the Prime Minister on Ukrainian soil once again 

Zelensky appeared much less thrilled to meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Kyiv earlier this week. Zelensky has in recent weeks openly accused Mr Macron of making excuses for Putin, with whom the French leader has claimed to have a strong relationship

Boris Johnson today declared that Western leaders must steel themselves for a drawn-out conflict in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, saying it would be a ‘catastrophe’ if president Vladimir Putin (pictured) was able to claim victory

A handout photo made available by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (2-L) with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (2-R) walking together prior to a meeting in Kyiv 

The Ukrainian President is pictured with Boris Johnson at the Mikhailovsky Zlatoverhky Cathedral in Kyiv

Eurovision SHOULD be held in Ukraine, says Boris Johnson 

Boris Johnson has come out in support of Kyiv hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest after European broadcasters awarded it to the UK due to safety fears stemming from the war in Ukraine.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said yesterday that it would look elsewhere for a venue, sparking fury from Ukrainian officials who insist they should still be given the chance to host the international event after their entry, folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, swept to victory.

The EBU approached the BBC to host the event in Britain after the UK’s Sam Ryder finished as runner-up, but Boris Johnson has insisted that Ukraine should host, confident that peace will have returned to Ukraine by the time the competition comes round again in May.  

‘I don’t think it’s right,’ Mr Johnson told reporters at RAF Brize Norton following a surprise visit to meet with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. ‘I hope the European Broadcasting Union recognise that. This thing is a year away. 

‘It’s going to be fine by the time the Eurovision Song Contest comes around, and I hope the Ukrainians get it because they deserve it.

‘The Ukrainians won it fair and square – even though we had a brilliant entry – and I do think they should be given the chance to to host it.’ 

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra (pictured) won the event in Turin, Italy, in May with their song ‘Stefania’

Mr Johnson told Mr Zelensky yesterday that the UK is prepared to launch a major operation to train Ukrainian armed forces, training up to 120,000 troops every 120 days to prepare them for combat against Putin’s soldiers.

Mr Johnson said that it was important to prevent the Russians ‘freezing’ the conflict so they could consolidate their gains before mounting another attack.

He said the Ukrainians should be supported in their ambition to regain territory occupied by the Russian forces since they invaded in February.

However, he stopped short of calling for the recovery of all the lands Ukraine had lost since 2014 – including Crimea – something Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has previously called for.

‘We will continue, as we have from the beginning, to provide the military equipment you need – and now, of course, the training that may be necessary to go with that new equipment – so that you, the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian armed forces, will be able to do what I believe Ukrainians yearn to do, and that is to expel the aggressor from Ukraine,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘That will be the moment for talks about the future of Ukraine and it will be in that context of a free Ukraine that we and other countries will be making the security commitments and guarantees we have discussed so often.’

In a statement, the PM added: ‘My visit today, in the depths of this war, is to send a clear and simple message to the Ukrainian people: the UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail.’ 

Crowds were shown cheering the two leaders as they walked the streets of Kyiv in a video shared on Twitter by the Prime Minister.

The clip shows him alongside Mr Zelensky visiting a memorial wall for fallen Ukrainian soldiers, and Mr Johnson praised their ‘sacrifice, unconquerable courage and bravery’.

He said: ‘Thank you my friend President Zelensky for hosting me in Ukraine yesterday.

‘It was incredibly moving to walk the streets of Kyiv with you once more, to pay tribute to your fallen soldiers whose sacrifice, unconquerable courage and bravery we will never forget.’

The Prime Minister also shared an image of himself and Mr Zelensky speaking around a table, and lighting candles in a place of worship.

It comes as Mr Johnson was forced to defend his decision to pull out of a conference of northern Tories on Friday so he could meet the Ukrainian President in Kyiv. 

The timing of the visit led to accusations that he was snubbing the North ahead of a crucial by-election in Wakefield in West Yorkshire, which the Tories are widely expected to lose.

Boris Johnson lights a candle during a visit to St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral, Mikhailovsky Zlatoverhky

Mr Johnson and Mr Zelensky shake hands as they pose for pictures inside the Ukrainian Presidential Palace in Kyiv

The Prime Minister is shown the Memory wall of Ukraine’s defenders after attending a ceremony in which they paid their respects to the fallen

The PM yesterday vowed to provide fresh military aid to Ukraine during a surprise visit to Kyiv a day after Emmanuel Macron and EU leaders visited the capital for the first time

Speaking to reporters today at RAF Brize Norton on his return from Kyiv, Mr Johnson said it was important to demonstrate the UK’s support at a time when the Ukrainians were ‘suffering terribly’ in the face of the ongoing Russian offensive in the Donbas.

‘I think it is very important to go to Ukraine at a particularly critical time. The worry that we have is that a bit of Ukraine-fatigue is starting to set in around the world,’ he said.

‘It is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul and we are giving them that strategic resilience that they need.’

Following the Prime Minister’s return to the UK, Mr Zelensky said on Saturday he had visited soldiers on the southern front line in the Mykolaiv region and vowed that his armed forces would prevail against Moscow.

‘Our brave men and women. Each one of them is working flat out,’ he said on Telegram. ‘We will definitely hold out! We will definitely win!’

A video showed Mr Zelensky in his trademark khaki t-shirt handing out medals and posing for selfies with the servicemen.

European Union countries are expected at a summit next week to grant Ukraine EU candidate status following a recommendation from the bloc’s executive on Friday, putting Kyiv on course to realise an aspiration seen as out of reach before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, even if actual membership could take years.

But a decision to grant Ukraine EU candidate status would do nothing to prevent the bloody fighting which is raging across frontlines in the country’s east and southeast.

On the battlefields on Saturday, Severodonetsk, a prime target in Moscow’s offensive to seize full control of the eastern region of Luhansk, was again under heavy artillery and rocket fire as the Russian forces attacked areas outside the industrial city, the Ukrainian military said.

Ukrainians blast Russian tank and two armoured vehicles with US-donated M777 howitzer as ‘fierce battles’ rage for eastern city of Severodonetsk

  • US-donated howitzers score kills against a tank and two BMP fighting vehicles  
  • Fierce fighting rages around city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region
  • US-gifted howitzers, tow trucks and ammunition making a difference for Ukraine
  • But Russia is still making slow, incremental progress against Ukrainian army 

By WALTER FINCH for MailOnline

Western-made weapons are starting to tell on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine as US-donated howitzers obliterate Russian tanks in the raging battle for Severodonetsk.

A video released by Ukraine’s military shows artillery fire destroying a tank and two BMP infantry fighting vehicles as deadly precise shells rain in on them from up to 25 miles away.

Artillerymen of the 81st Airmobile Brigade were operating the US-donated, British-built M777 howitzer on the front lines around the eastern city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region.

The United States has already donated more than 100 howitzers to Ukraine, with a further 18 – and tactical vehicles to tow them along with ammunition – included in the latest tranche of military aid valued at $1 billion.

With the recent Ukrainian admission that they are losing 100 men a day, mostly due to concentrated fire by the superior Russian creeping artillery barrages, potent NATO weapons are absolutely essential for the smaller nation to stay in the fight and defend their territory.

In a separate video released by Ukrainian forces last month celebrating the much-loved US howitzers, the words ‘From America with love’ can be seen scrawled along the barrel of one M777.

Pictured: A M777 howitzer artillery cannon. The United States has already donated more than 100 howitzers to Ukraine, with a further 18 – and tactical vehicles to tow them along with ammunition – included in the latest tranche of military aid valued at $1 billion

Ukrainian forces last month released a video celebrating the much-loved US howitzers, the words ‘From America with love’ can be seen scrawled along the barrel of one M777

With the recent Ukrainian admission that they are losing 100 men a day, mostly due to concentrated fire by the superior creeping Russian artillery barrages, potent NATO weapons are absolutely essential for the smaller nation to stay in the fight and defend their territory


A video released by Ukraine’s military shows artillery fire destroying a tank and two BMP infantry fighting vehicles as deadly precise shells rain in on them from up to 25 miles away

Artillerymen of the 81st Airmobile Brigade were operating the US-donated, British-built M777 howitzer on the front lines around the eastern city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region

Severodonetsk and Lysychansk are located in the east of Ukraine in the Luhansk region, where the fighting is fiercest

‘My guys know the value of artillery,’ Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhnyi said in the video description.

The M777 can fire as far as 25 miles and is capable of striking within 10 yards of a target when coupled with the M982 Excalibur precision guided munition.

This range is significantly greater than Russia’s primary artillery systems, the 2S19 self-propelled howitzer and D-30 towed guns.   

The fiercest fighting in Ukraine is centred around the now largely-destroyed population centre of Severodonetsk, which straddles the Donets River.

Moscow has been trying to seize the city of 100,000 for a number of weeks.

Ukrainian troops holed up in a chemical plant in Severodonetsk have been told to lay down their arms and surrender as Russia makes further ground in the Donbas.

More than 500 civilians and an unknown number of soldiers are trapped inside the Azot factory after sheltering from a Russian bombardment.

‘Now the most fierce battles are near Severodonetsk. They (Russia) do not control the city entirely,’ the governor of the eastern Lugansk region, Sergiy Gaiday, said on Telegram.

‘In nearby villages there are very difficult fights – in Toshkivska, Zolote. They are trying to break through but failing,’ he said, adding that Ukrainian forces were ‘fighting Russians in all directions.’

Gaiday said there was ‘more destruction’ at the besieged Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk, where he said 568 people were sheltering, including 38 children.

He also said Lysychansk – a Ukrainian-controlled city across a river from battered Severodonetsk – is being ‘heavily shelled’.

Lysychansk residents were preparing to be evacuated.

‘We’re abandoning everything and going. No one can survive such a strike,’ said history teacher Alla Bor, waiting with her son-in-law Volodymyr and 14-year-old grandson.

‘We are abandoning everything, we are leaving our house. We left our dog with food. It’s inhumane but what can you do?’

In light of the difficult military situation in the east, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed Brussels’ support for Kyiv’s European Union bid as a historic achievement.

The European Commission spearheaded a powerful show of solidarity on Friday by backing Ukraine for EU candidate status, an endorsement that could add it to the list of countries vying for membership as early as next week.

All 27 leaders must back Ukraine’s candidacy at a Brussels summit next week but the heads of the bloc’s biggest members – France, Germany and Italy – gave full-throated support to the idea during a highly symbolic visit to Kyiv this week.

Even though EU membership could still be years away, Zelensky called the decision a ‘historic achievement’ and said it would ‘certainly bring our victory closer’ against Russia.

The European Union today gave its blessing to Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova to become an official candidate to join the bloc – with EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announcing the move wearing blue and yellow (pictured) – a show of support for Ukraine

Mr Zelensky and French president Emmanuel Macron shared an awkward embrace as EU leaders visited Ukraine yesterday

Emmanuel Macron, dressed impeccably in his trademark dark suit, flashed a smile as he posed for cameras and clasped Zelensky’s hand on Thursday.  But the Ukraine’s Churchillian leader simply scowled at the floor, evidently displeased with the posturing

‘Ukrainian institutions maintain resilience even in conditions of war. Ukrainian democratic habits have not lost their power even now,’ Zelensky said in a video address.

On Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made her support of clear by donning a striking outfit in Ukraine’s national colours in blue and yellow.

‘We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us for the European dream,’ she said.

Russian state television meanwhile aired social media videos of two US military veterans who went missing last week while fighting alongside the Ukrainian army, stating they had been captured by Russian forces.

US President Joe Biden had said on Friday he did not know the whereabouts of Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, after their relatives lost contact with the pair.

The missing Americans – including a third identified as a former US Marines captain – are believed to be part of an unknown number of mostly military veterans who have joined other foreigners to volunteer alongside Ukrainian troops.

Ukrainian civilian volunteers however continue to sign up, with a group performing military exercises on Friday in fortified positions left by Russian troops in Bucha, a town synonymous with war crimes blamed on Moscow’s forces.

‘Most of those who are here aren’t soldiers. They’re just civilians who want to defend their country – 50 percent of them have never held a weapon until today,’ a sergeant known as ‘Ticha’ told AFP.

Moscow has warned Western countries against getting involved in its ex-Soviet neighbour, saying it invaded to ‘de-nazify and de-militarise’ a country that was getting too close to the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had ‘nothing against’ Ukraine joining the EU, saying it was ‘their sovereign decision to join economic unions or not’ – unlike the security risk he sees in Kyiv joining NATO.


Alexander Drueke, 39, left, and Andy Huynh, 27, appeared terrified in footage released by Russian forces where they identified themselves and denounced war. They men went missing last week after their platoon in Ukraine was ambushed by Russian soldiers 

An undated photo of the two veterans, Drueke, (left) and Huynh (right), was uploaded on the Telegram messaging app on Thursday, a day before the video went up 

But he said European Union membership would turn Ukraine into a ‘semi-colony’ of the West.

Putin also insisted that the Russian invasion was not the cause of global inflation and grain shortages, blaming Western sanctions that he said threatened starvation ‘primarily in the poorest countries’.

Moscow then turned up the pressure on Western allies by sharply reducing flows of natural gas in its pipelines to western Europe, driving up energy prices in a region dependent on Russian gas.

Boris Johnson pictured with Volodymyr Zelensky during his visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv yesterday

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra (pictured) won the event in Turin, Italy, in May with their song ‘Stefania’, meaning traditionally Ukraine should host next year’s event

France’s network provider said it had not received any Russian gas by pipeline from Germany since June 15, and Italy’s Eni said it expected Russian firm Gazprom to cut its supplies by half on Friday.

Ukraine was meanwhile battling on another front – the right to host next year’s Eurovision song contest after its morale-boosting win this year.

Kyiv condemned a decision by organisers to move the 2023 version of the world’s biggest live music event on security grounds, possibly to Britain.

‘We will demand to change this decision, because we believe that we will be able to fulfil all the commitments,’ Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said.

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