Humiliated Vladimir Putin today admitted to failings in Ukraine – but also threatened a “global catastrophe” as his allies warned the West not to “back him into a corner”.
Russia is reportedly running out of missiles and is desperate to return to the negotiating table now that its troops in Ukraine are on the run.
Mad Vlad fired a blitz of more than 100 rockets at Ukrainian cities this week in revenge for the Crimean Bridge bombing.
Western officials today condemned “further barbaric attacks on civilians” — but analysts believe Putin cannot continue like this.
One official said: “Russia is depleting its stockpiles of long-range precision munitions – particularly its air-launched cruise missiles.
“So this is not a campaign that can sustain it indefinitely.”
In a speech at a summit of ex-Soviet states in Kazakhstan today, Putin raised doubts about his stash.
He had no plans for further “massive strikes – for now” and added: “We do not set ourselves the task of destroying Ukraine. No, of course not.”
He also said Russia is ready to hold peace talks with international mediation.
And in a rare admission of failure, Putin said it would be “impossible” to hold the line in Ukraine without thousands of new conscripts.
He claimed that 222,000 men had been called up so far out of a target of 300,000 and that mobilization would take another two weeks.
The tyrant said: “The line of contact is 1,100 km (680 miles), so holding it with forces composed only of contract soldiers is practically impossible, especially as they take part in offensive activities.”
However, he insisted that he had no regrets about the “unpleasant” war.
And in a chilling threat to NATO, he warned: “Deploying troops in direct confrontation with the Russian army is a very dangerous move that could lead to a global catastrophe.
“I hope that those who speak of it have enough sense not to take such steps.”
Meanwhile, Alexander Lukashenko, Putin’s puppet dictator in Belarus, warned that Russia has nuclear weapons “for a reason.”
He told NBC, “The most important thing is, don’t corner your interlocutor and even your opponent.
“So you mustn’t cross these lines – these red lines, as the Russians say. You cannot cross them.
“As for nuclear weapons, every weapon is a weapon that was created for something.”
At the summit, Lukashenko announced the start of a “counter-terrorism operation.”
A total of 70,000 Russian and Belarusian troops will gather on the border with Ukraine – the base for February’s failed attack on Kyiv.
It has raised fears that Putin will force his neighbor into the conflict.
Other analysts believe that Russia is unable to open a new front as troops’ morale is low and they are running out of firepower.
The Kremlin has been lobbying Western leaders to bring Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelensky back to the negotiating table, sources told news site Meduza.
But sources say Putin only wants a truce as a cover to regroup and replenish ahead of a new “major offensive” in February or March.
Zelenskyy has ruled out any negotiations, insisting that the war will end when the last Russian troops leave Ukrainian soil.
Analysts estimate that Russia has used up at least two-thirds of its long-range precision missiles in the eight-month conflict.
Its full range was deployed in the Blitz earlier this week, including Kh-55 and Kh-101 cruise missiles launched by strategic bombers, sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles and ground-launched Iskander missiles.
Russian troops are also said to have repurposed S-300 surface-to-air missiles to attack ground targets.
It’s a sign that Russia is running out of advanced missiles earmarked for the task, Ian Williams, a fellow at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told ABC News.
Ukrainian government official Oleksi Reznikov said Russia has “demilitarized” itself by using up most of its missiles.
He tweeted: “Russia’s military defeat is inevitable.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6445458/putin-war-nato-global-catastrophe-failures-ukraine/ Putin frostily warns that a war with NATO would be a “global catastrophe” while acknowledging failures in Ukraine