The head of Britain’s armed forces dismissed speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “not well” or could be assassinated as “wishful thinking”.
Britain’s Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, was asked if President Putin, who launched an invasion of Ukraine in February, could be “overthrown” or face a ” regime change.
But he told Sophie Raworth on BBC One’s Sunday morning show: “I think some of the comments that he’s not doing well or that someone is surely going to murder him or take him out, I think that they are wishful thinking.
“As military professionals we see a relatively stable regime in Russia, President Putin has been able to crush all opposition, we see a hierarchy that is invested in President Putin and therefore no one at the top has the motivation to challenge the President Putin, and this is dark.
He said the “Russia challenge was going to last ‘potentially’ decades in terms of the Russian threat”, and that the next Prime Minister should know that Russia is “the biggest threat” to the UK.
He added: “So the biggest threat is Russia, and it is Russia in all its guises when you look at it militarily.
“His ground forces are probably less threatening in the short term because of this degradation, this exhaustion that we see with their struggle in Ukraine.
“But Russia continues to be a nuclear power, it has cyber capabilities, it has space capabilities, and it has particular programs underwater so that it can threaten the undersea cables that allow information of the world to transit around the whole world.”
On what the UK armed forces would look like if defense spending increased to 3% of GDP, he said: ‘I think they would be even more modern and they would have even more punch and they would still have more impact in the world, and this is clearly a choice for the government.
Referring to a recent visit to Kyiv, he said the Ukrainian military “absolutely” believed it would win the war.
He added: “They are looking at restoring all of their territory as far as Ukraine is concerned, and they see a struggling Russia, a Russia that we believe has lost more than 30% of its combat effectiveness. earthly.
“What that actually means is 50,000 Russian soldiers who died or were injured in this conflict, nearly 1,700 Russian tanks destroyed, nearly 4,000 Russian-owned armored fighting vehicles destroyed.”
On how he will brief the next Prime Minister, he added: “We will always give them an overview of the current situation so that they know where our armed forces are.
“It’s dominated by Ukraine and our support for them, but we’re also trying to step back and paint a bigger picture of the threat.
“And then we have to remind the Prime Minister of the extraordinary responsibility he has to the UK as a nuclear power, and that is part of the induction of a new UK Prime Minister.”
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Post expires at 9:17pm on Friday July 22nd, 2022