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Vladimir Putin's 'only hope' rest in talks with Ukraine as Russia 'getting crushed'

Daily Express logo Daily Express 03/12/2022 Tim McNulty

Former US commander Ben Hodges has claimed Russian forces are "absolutely getting crushed" in Ukraine as winter moves in. During a radio interview in the UK, the former Lieutenant General advised that Russia's only hope was now to accept defeat and negotiate with Ukraine.


Mr Hodges told Times Radio: "They're absolutely getting crushed right now.

"They're losing on every front, they're isolated in the world."

He added: "Right now their only hope is to drag this thing out in the hope that all of us will lose the will to continue supporting Ukraine.

"They are racing out because they are in such a bad way."

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Lieutenant General Ben Hodges discusses Vladimir Putin's 'only hope' © TimesRadio Lieutenant General Ben Hodges discusses Vladimir Putin's 'only hope' Vladimir Putin is facing setbacks in Ukraine © GETTY Vladimir Putin is facing setbacks in Ukraine

Retired US commander Mark Hertling believes Ukraine is "holding the upper hand" against Russia in terms of fighting in winter.

Temperatures are falling in Ukraine with soldiers on both sides facing fighting in freezing conditions.

Mr Hertling told CNN: "The weather plays an equal part on both sides truthfully, but what you're talking about is the preparedness and the discipline within the force.

"What we've seen in the Russian force so far is a lack of discipline, a lack of leadership, poorly equipped.

"They're not prepared to address the kinds of things that are associated with winter warfare oil for equipment, the kinds of things you need to stay dry, the uniforms that will keep you warm.

"What NATO is providing Ukraine right now is the type of uniforms they need to sustain themselves.

"They have the shelter, I saw a picture the other day of a Russian shelter that was basically saran wrap wrapped around trees just to keep the wind out. Ukrainians have tents, they have underground shelter.

"So the combination of equipment performance standards and discipline in my view, even though weather is equal to both sides will give Ukraine the advantage in this winter fight but it's still going to be very tough."

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Vladimir Putin: A profile © EXPRESS Vladimir Putin: A profile

"The other thing that's important is during the winter, the daylight, certainly less time of daylight that you can fight.

"The Ukrainians have night vision devices that they can see during the nighttime. So you know all of those things play a part and I give the Ukrainians the upper hand and a winter fight in this case."

Meanwhile, Ukraine stands ready to trigger Russian "military collapse" in the New Year if NATO commits to provide extra weapons and ammunition, according to the UK's former defence chief.

Lord Dannatt told Sky News: "There is a view which I have some sympathy with, that if the Ukrainians are able to mount a really bold counter-offensive in the spring, it may be sufficiently effective that it could destroy the Russian army's morale and bring about a collapse in the Russian military. "


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