The new British Army chief has warned his troops that they must be prepared to fight and beat the Russian army in a European land war.
Having assumed overall command of the British Army this week, General Sir Patrick Sanders told soldiers “we are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again” as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine rocks global stability.
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The Mail Online reports: In a tub-thumping message to British troops, he wrote: ‘I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power… The scale of the enduring threat from Russia shows we’ve entered a new era of insecurity.
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‘It is my singular duty to make our Army as lethal and effective as it can be. The time is now and the opportunity is ours to seize.’
It comes as Putin menaces NATO countries and this week taunted former Soviet states in Europe by declaring: ‘They are part of historic Russia’.
utin made the comments in response to a dramatic statement by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who sensationally declared he did not recognise the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
Tokayev, sat metres away from the brooding Russian despot at the St Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) yesterday, described the DPR and LPR as ‘quasi-state territories’.
‘We don’t recognise Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia or Abkhazia… we apply this principle to the quasi-state territories, which in our view, are the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics’, the Kazakh President said in a daring defiance of Putin’s war in eastern Ukraine.
The Russian President sat quietly, considering Tokayev’s comments, before appearing to deliver a calm but quietly menacing warning.
‘What is the Soviet Union?’ Putin asked rhetorically. ‘This is historic Russia.’
He went on to paint Kazakhstan as a nation friendly to Russia, but quickly added: ‘The same thing could have happened with Ukraine, but they wouldn’t be our allies.’
Maximilian Hess, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The Telegraph that Putin’s retort to Tokayev was a ‘clear threat’ and argued that Tokayev was reliant on Russian support following widespread riots in Kazakhstan in January, which were only quelled with the help of Russian paratroopers operating under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – an eastern security bloc similar to NATO.
In a lengthy speech at the SPIEF conference, Putin went on to accuse the US of ‘playing God’ and treating countries like ‘colonies’ as he brushed off the impact of Western sanctions on Russia’s economy.
Amid a lengthy denunciation of America and its allies, Putin, 69, warned ‘nothing will be as it used to be’ as he delivered his address, which was delayed by 90 minutes after the event suffered a cyber attack.