The professional head of the U.K.’s armed forces, Tony Radakin was asked Sunday if Putin’s takeover of Ukraine was unavoidable. He not only explained it’s possible to stop Putin, but added that war wasn’t necessary.
Interviewed by the BBC, Radakin continued, “I think we’ve seen a Russian invasion that is not going well. I think we’re also seeing a remarkable resistance by Ukraine both by its armed forces and its people. And we’re also seeing the unity of the whole globe coming together with a cohesive approach, whether that’s economically, diplomatically, culturally, socially, militarily, applying pressure to Russia and that needs to continue so that Russia stops this invasion.”
“We all have to acknowledge that we’re likely to see Russia ratcheting up the violence,” he asserted. “We’re going to see more indiscriminate shelling; we’re going to see more ridiculous violence such as that that was meted out on the Ukraine population or attacking nuclear power plants and the world has to maintain the resolve to keep applying its pressure on Russia, because it’s Putin who can bring this to an end.”
The BBC interviewer commented, “But that means standing back and watching Russia continue to shell towns and cities, thousands of people who we have seen trapped in those places. Can the West really continue to just watch on?”
Radakin responded, “So this is a really difficult situation. It’s a desperate and awful situation for the people of Ukraine. But we also have to be sensible in acknowledging that we want to avoid a war with Russia, and that would lead to a terrible situation getting even worse. The last thing that we want is a war between NATO and Russia; an increased escalation.”
Asked what would prevent Putin from continuing his expansion beyond Ukraine, Radakin said, “I think we should acknowledge that NATO is this extraordinary strong military force, three and half million people under arms, the most powerful military force in the world. And NATO has strengthened its borders on the eastern flank. The world has been incredibly clear about the repercussions that are being borne by Russia now. This invasion is not going well for Russia; Russia is suffering; Russia is an isolated power. It’s less powerful than it was 10 days ago.”
“And Russia cannot continue,” he claimed. “So we have to have the confidence that what we’re doing is the right thing.”
The BBC interviewer asked, “You say that you think the people of Ukraine could win this. But is this a war that could last a long time, that could last a decade?”
“So I think we’ve seen already the unpredictable nature of war and I don’t want to predict when this will come to an end,” Radakin stated. “This is going to be bloody; it’s is going to lead to more death and destruction, and it’s Putin that has to stop it. But in terms of whether or not Russia is going to be successful as an occupying force and the carnage that will be meted out back to Russia and the inability of Russia to hold Ukraine, that’s what it’s going to suffer.”
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.