This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Russia has lost some 50,000 killed or wounded soldiers in its invasion of Ukraine and nearly 1,700 tanks have been destroyed, the head of Britain’s armed forces says.
But Admiral Tony Radakin told the BBC in an interview broadcast on July 17 that any speculation the losses could bring down the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was just “wishful thinking.”
“I think some of the comments that he’s not well or that actually surely somebody’s going to assassinate him or take him out, I think they’re wishful thinking,” he said of Putin.
“As military professionals, we see a relatively stable regime in Russia. President Putin has been able to quash any opposition. We see a hierarchy that is invested in President Putin and so nobody at the top has got the motivation to challenge President Putin,” Radakin added.
“And that is bleak.”
The British military chief said that, with the setbacks in Ukraine, Russia’s land forces may now pose less of a threat than they did before the war.
Along with the losses in personnel and tanks, Russia has seen some 4,000 of its armored fighting vehicles destroyed since its February 24 invasion, according to his estimates.
“But Russia continues to be a nuclear power. It’s got cyber-capabilities, it’s got space capabilities, and it’s got particular programs underwater, so it can threaten the underwater cables that allow the world’s information to transit around the whole globe.”