The Kremlin’s war in Ukraine is approaching its sixth month, with slow gains in the eastern Donbas region and continuing condemnation around the globe. James Stavridis, who served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe between 2009 and 2013, told New York-based WABC: “I think in the dark, quiet hours at two o’clock in the morning when he wakes up, he realises he’s made a mistake.
“Publicly, he’ll never admit that. Never.
“He’ll continue to maintain this fiction that Ukraine is run by ‘neo-Nazis.’
Moscow has repeatedly made the false claim that Ukraine was harbouring scores of neo-Nazis as a justification for the invasion.
Mr Stavridis added: “I think he knows it in his heart, he’ll never admit it publicly.”
He then said Putin is “burning through capability” and wearing out Russia’s military with the invasion effort.
He said: “I’d say, six months from now, he’s going to be in very dire straits.”
Over the weekend, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said they had successfully destroyed eight tanks and a further 11 armoured vehicles belonging to Russian forces.
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Putin has doubled down on the shelling of northwest Ukraine, circling back to focus on the city of Kharkiv.
Ukraine’s second city came under heavy fire in the initial stages of the war, before Russia pulled back to concentrate on the eastern Donbas region.
A senior Ukrainian official said that renewed shelling in the city injured five people, two of which are in a serious condition.
Oleg Synegubov, who heads up the regional administration of Kharkiv, said on Telegram: “As a result of the morning shelling of Kharkiv, five people were injured.
“According to the information of the Regional Center of Emergency Medical Assistance, four people were hospitalized, two of them are in serious condition.
“One person was treated on the spot.
“Medical and rescue services continue to work at the sites of the hits.”