Wed. Mar 29th, 2023


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Russians ‘have no stomach for the fight in Ukraine,’ Putin told in stark warning

3 min read

A retired US Lieutenant General believes Russian troops have "no stomach for the fight" and no longer "want to be a part" of Vladimir Putin's war against Ukraine.

Ben Hodges, the former Commanding General of US Army Europe, has also argued Putin's rumoured plans to mobilise another 500,000 troops ahead of the February 24 one-year anniversary of his invasion would be a "total disaster" for Russia.

The retried Lieutenant General told The Express: "There is no bright light on the horizon for Putin. Russia is suffering enormous casualties.

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin will launch strike on West to mark anniversary of war, Ukraine warns

"Russia is still not able to capture key parts of Ukraine despite spending months trying to do so. Mass mobilisation plans of up to 500,000 troops would be a huge disaster – it is simply impossible to move, train, equip and accommodate all of these people.

"The Russian population has no stomach for this fight and absolutely don't want to be a part of it. We are starting to see more Russians criticising him over the Ukraine war plan."

Lieutenant General Hodges stopped short, however, of suggesting that Putin could be deposed by his own people, despite the growing levels of dissent against the war.

"Putin has spent the last 20 years protecting himself from being a victim of a Russian coup so I can't see a significant move there as he has a massive security infrastructure that shuts down protests," he pointed out. "But there is enormous conflict between the various leaders and factions who are wondering what their life is going to be like after Crimea falls and after Ukraine wins."

Lieutenant General Hodges added that he felt Ukraine could deliver a huge blow to Putin by recapturing Crimea by August.

Colonel Richard Kemp, a retired British Army officer who served for nearly 30 years, does believe, meanwhile, that Putin could become the victim of a coup.

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He said: "We have Putin mobilising his forces, getting ready to send them into Ukraine – some are already there to give him a much-needed significant boost to try and smash the Ukrainian army. This could be Putin's last roll of the dice.

"The Ukrainians have taken a huge hit but, of course, so has Putin. We all know things didn't work out how we expected or how he conditioned the Russian people to expect, so he has to have a significant victory in the early part of this year.

"If Putin can't achieve that significant victory, it could be a very bleak future for him with the possibility of some kind of coup. He will be very mindful of that possibility.

"Putin remains in a very strong position and still has huge popularity within Russia. But we have also seen rumblings from some of the elites within Russia, for example from the head of the Wagner Group.

"The prospects of a popular Russian uprising against Putin are pretty low but the prospect of someone of significance in Moscow or a significant number of people deciding to move against him is possible."


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