Former US Ambassador to Russia says Putin won’t recover from Ukraine defeat

The US is sending an additional $3bn arms package to Kyiv as the war there enters its’ seventh month

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Monday 29 August 2022 16:13 BST
Jens Stoltenberg says Nato 'prevents war from escalating beyond Ukraine'

Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has said Russian president Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has met none of the “strategic objectives” it was meant to accomplish and will go down as a failure.

Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Mr McFaul said Mr Putin’s recent order to increase Russia’s armed forces by 137,000 new soldiers is most likely meant to help Moscow break the “stalemate” between Russian and Ukrainian forces in contested areas.

"Remember, six months ago, he said he was going to unite Ukrainians and Russians because Ukrainians are just Russians with accents. He failed at that, he failed at denazification, he failed at demilitarization, he failed to take the capital of Kyiv. And now he's just fighting in Donetsk and in Kherson,” he said. "So, on the strategic level, I think he's failed in this war. I don't see him recovering”.

The ex-US diplomat also suggested that Russian leaders may believe “time is on their side” if they are able to prolong hostilities in hopes that Ukraine will run out of weapons and not receive further support from the West.

Mr McFaul’s comments came just days after President Joe Biden announced a new $3bn arms package for Kyiv to mark the six-month anniversary since Russian troops escalated the invasion which began with the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The new assistance package will allow Kyiv to purchase air defence systems, artillery and radar systems, and was timed to coincide with Ukraine’s 31st Independence Day celebrations.

In a statement, Mr Biden called Ukraine’s Independence Day a “resounding affirmation” that the country will remain “a sovereign and independent nation”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in