Putin ‘potentially has problem’ as Russia running out of missiles, UK Defence chief warns

Ukraine: Frei grills Dmitry Suslov on Russian missiles in March

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Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, speaking to TalkTV, said this evening that “the rate of expenditure” of this war will prove too costly for Russian forces. He will claim that the war climate is “totally different” to what Putin “perceived” at the end of February, adding this is now a “logistics war” as the end of the conflict appears no nearer. 

Admiral Sir Tony will say: “[Putin] potentially has a problem, because the rate of expenditure and the toughness of the fight is totally different to the one that he perceived on the 24th of February. 

“I think there are several wars going on. There’s a tactical, geographical war going on in Ukraine. 

“There’s a logistics war going on, in terms of how do you maintain that rate of expenditure. 

“We’re talking about a severe impact on their armed forces. We’ve had 25 percent of their forces effectively being taken out – either through being killed, or through the damage to their battalion tactical groups.” 

Meanwhile, Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, a deputy commander of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment sheltering in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, said “heavy, bloody fighting” was occurring for the third day. 

Mr Palamar said: “It is the third day that the enemy has entered the Azovstal steel plant. Heavy, bloody fighting is going on. 

“Yet again, the Russians have not kept the promise of a ceasefire and have not given an opportunity for the civilians who seek shelter in basements of the plant to evacuate. 

“Our enemy observes no ethical norms, conventions or laws.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has denied that Russian forces have attacked the plant, which is the final barricade to them claiming the vital port city. 

It also emerged last night that Russia could have deliberately bombed a make-shift shelter in Mariupol with as many as 1,000 citizens in it, inlcuding women and children. 

Explosives analyst Mark Cancian said of the devastation: “The fact that it hit [the theatre] square on would lead me to believe that’s what they were aiming at.”

The word children had been written in giant white lettering on either side of the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theatre to deter Russian bombers – though it was to no avail.

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Admiral Sir Tony’s comments reflect Pentagon estimates that roughly a quarter of Russian battalion tactical groups, which included soldiers and armoured vehicles, have been killed or destroyed. 

That figure is particularly concerning since Russia reportedly sent roughly three quarters of its entire armed forces into Ukraine. 

Russia began with around 190,000 troops in Ukraine and estimates over how many soldiers have been killed vary. 

A senior NATO military official claimed at the end of March that somewhere between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers had been killed. 

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