Vladimir Putin won't hold on to power predicts Leon Panetta
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The UK has mocked Russia for showing “poor battle discipline”, after Ukraine captured more than 1,000 armoured vehicles. In an update on the war in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that “re-purposed captured Russian equipment now makes up a large proportion of Ukraine’s military hardware”. Ukraine is thought to have captured more than 440 Russian Main Battle Tanks, and around 650 other armoured vehicles since the invasion began on 24 February 2022, the MoD said.
It added: “Over half of Ukraine’s currently fielded tank fleet potentially consists of captured vehicles.”
Hitting out at the Russian army’s tactics, the MoD said: “The failure of Russian crews to destroy intact equipment before withdrawing or surrendering highlights their poor state of training and low levels of battle discipline.”
It warned: “With Russian formations under severe strain in several sectors and increasingly demoralised troops, Russia will likely continue to lose heavy weaponry.”
This comes as Putin’s war effort appears to be stalling, with Volodymyr Zelensky’s army having retaken more than 6,000 sq km of land since the start of September, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The ISW said Russian forces are facing a “major operational defeat”.
Meanwhile, the US Defense Department estimated that at least 80,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24 2022.
However, Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, warned that Putin’s “humiliation in Ukraine raises the prospect of nuclear strikes in areas which he now claims are Russian territory”.
He called for a “robust, international, conventional, military response” in order to avoid a “dangerous precedent”.
Mr Ellwood added: “Putin has long exploited the West’s weakness to challenge his military advances directly.
“It’s time to spell out now the consequences – rather than hope it won’t happen.”
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Earlier today, weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told Express.co.uk that Putin is showing signs of “pure desperation”, as his war effort appears to be grinding to a halt.
He said Putin’s “deck of cards is looking pretty wobbly”, adding that the Russian president is beginning to look “very stupid”.
This comes after the Russian leader announced “partial mobilisation” on September 21, the first mobilisation of Russian forces since World War 2.
Mr de Bretton-Gordon described this as a “sign of pure desperation”, explaining: “You supposedly have the most powerful army in the world, that is being degraded to a point where you’re dragging young men off the streets.”
The weapons expert explained that Putin has been pushed to this point – which he described as a “tipping point” – partly as a result of all the training and weapons provided to the Ukrainian army by British and American forces.
He told Express.co.uk: “I think we’re seeing that all the training and advice we’ve given the Ukraine military is now paying dividends.
“Remember, the UK has been training the Ukraine army for a couple of years now, it’s not just since the war. I think its now coming to fruition.”
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