Putin left in fix over Ukraine with legacy of atrocities set to haunt Russian leader

Ukraine: Putin 'in fix' as Ukrainian citizens 'will not forget'

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Sir Andrew Wood has argued that the people of Ukrainian “will not forget” the savagery inflicted on the country by Vladimir Putin’s invading Russian troops. The former British ambassador to Moscow believes the bloody legacy left in Ukraine by Russian forces is “itself a defeat” for Putin, one that has removed the likelihood of any “settled outcome” to the costly conflict. 

Sir Andrew told Sky News: “[Putin’s] losing heavily and I think we have to realise that he cannot win the war, in the sense of maintaining, achieving a settled outcome.

“Nobody in Ukraine is going to forget what he’s done and what his forces have done, and the way they’ve done it.

“That in itself is a defeat.

“Secondly, it’s apparently the case that he’s already lost more Russian troops to death than they lost during the war in Afghanistan.”

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He added: “I think [Putin’s] in a terrible fix in that way.

“But Russian propaganda doesn’t care about the truth anyway.

“So presumably, he will try to work up some sort of story probably that it is all our fault.

“But I think he’s in an impossible position.”

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The Kremlin on Wednesday dismissed speculation that President Vladimir Putin planned to declare war against Ukraine and declare a national mobilisation on May 9 when Russia commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory in World War Two.

Putin has so far characterised Russia’s actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation”, not a war.

But Western politicians and some Russia watchers have speculated that he could be preparing for a major announcement next Monday with a range of possible scenarios ranging from an outright declaration of war to a declaration of victory.

Asked about speculation that Putin will declare war against Ukraine on May 9, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “There is no chance of that. It’s nonsense.”

Mr Peskov also said that people should not listen to speculation that there could be a decision on a national mobilisation.

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“It is not true. It is nonsense,” Mr Peskov told reporters.

The May 9 Victory Day is one of Russia’s most important national events – a remembrance of the enormous Soviet sacrifice made in defeating Nazi Germany in what is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.

An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens were killed in the 1941-45 war which left the Soviet Union devastated and almost every Soviet family mourning.

Putin has used previous Victory Day speeches to needle the West and showcase the firepower of Russia’s post-Soviet armed forces.

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