Russian forces ‘fighting on many fronts’ as Putin’s strategy fails

Putin 'will lose in Ukraine' says former head of British Army

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After Russian troops were forced to retreat from thousands of kilometres of occupied territory, the Kremlin has launched a new military strategy in a bid to destroy Ukrainian morale. Key civil infrastructure within Ukraine has come under targeted missile attack, leading to widespread blackouts affecting a huge quantity of the civilian population. Despite the shift in Moscow’s tactics, Lord Richard Dannatt asserted Russia would “lose in Ukraine” as the Kremlin’s forces face a battle on “many fronts”. The former Chief of the General Staff reported that Vladimir Putin’s plot to make Ukraine’s NATO allies “lose appetite” for the conflict had proved ineffective.

Speaking to Times Radio, Lord Dannatt explained: “Putin is fighting on many fronts. He is losing on the battlefield.

“He is trying to extend the campaign to make some European countries lose appetite for the fight. 

“He is also trying to destroy the morale of the Ukrainian people by his attack on their infrastructure. He will lose in Ukraine.”

He added: “The Ukrainians are doing well, they deserve all our support.”

After global allies of Ukraine placed fierce sanctions on Moscow, Vladimir Putin responded by cutting gas supplies to Europe in a bid to discourage an intervention in his invasion plans.

Despite the pressure placed on European economies by the energy shortage, NATO has remained a staunch supporter of the Ukrainian defence effort.

This has earned further backlash from the Russian President who has spoken of the Western world in vilified terms and hinted at escalating the conflict to an international nuclear war.

Speaking at a conference in Russia just last week, Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin could use “weapons of mass destruction” to protect the “territorial integrity” of the Russian Federation if it came under threat.

Read more: Putin facing rare dissent from Russia’s news media

Rather than targeting known Ukrainian military facilities, Russian forces have more recently conducted attacks against core civilian infrastructure in a bid to deflate Kyiv’s morale.

The UN reported: “Many civilian objects, including dozens of residential buildings and vital civilian infrastructure – including at least 12 energy facilities – were damaged or destroyed in eight regions, indicating that these strikes may have violated the principles on the conduct of hostilities under international humanitarian law. 

“Damage to key power stations and lines ahead of the upcoming winter raises further concerns for the protection of civilians and in particular the impact on vulnerable populations.”

In a speech on Tuesday, President Zelensky confirmed that there had been widespread blackouts in a number of regions across Ukraine following Russian missile attacks. 

He added: “We will do everything to give people electricity and heat this winter, but we must understand that Russia will do everything to destroy the normality of life.”

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Intelligence reports from the UK Ministry of Defence have suggested Russia remains on the backfoot in Ukraine amid a crisis of supply concerning weapons and vehicles within Moscow’s armed forces.

Defence officials suggested the swathes of newly mobilised Russian troops arriving in Ukraine were “poorly equipped” and weapons that were available among active battalions were likely “barely usable” following improper storage.

The Kremlin had refuted this information as Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reported: “At an early stage, there were problems with various types of supplies and subsistence for the mobilised. These problems have been resolved. 

“All those deployed to their units are provided with the required supplies, uniforms, equipment, and food at the same standard as professional military personnel serving under contract.”

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