The crater left by one of the two Russian rockets in a residential building complex in the Saltivka district in Kharkov (Ukraine). photo EFE
As Western leaders concluded the G7 summit in Germany vowing to increase the political and economic costs for Russia, President Vladimir Putin launched missile attacks on a Kiev asylum shortly after another on a shopping mall. which left 18 dead and 21 missing.
At the same time, the head of the new British Chief of Staff, Sir Patrick Sanders, announced it they were experiencing “the Moment 1937” and that it was “dangerous to assume that Ukraine was a limited conflict”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson buried his election manifesto and decided to increase his military budget for troops and equipment. The G7 will fight the cost of living crisis “Even with price limits” if necessary. This is the “timing” of the war in Ukraine and its terrifying repercussions in Europe.
There has never been a more disturbing climate in the European Union since the start of the war and during the week of all the major summits.
“This is our time in 1937,” said the British military leader. referring to the crucial period preceding the Second World War. “They must do everything they can to prevent another world war,” she continued.
General Sanders elaborated his views on the threat posed by Russia and how the British military is adapting, with a greater focus on urban combat and rebuilding expensive arms stocks, emptied to save money since the end of the Cold War.
Security in Madrid before the NATO summit. AFP photo
“It’s a move that will require all grades – from general to corporal – “prepare, train hard and participate”She said.
General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of Staff General speaking at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) conference, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his “expansionist ambitions” represent “the greatest threat to sovereigntydemocracy and the freedom to live without the violence I have ever known “.
Avoid the third war
General Sanders, who took office last month, said his only goal is “to mobilize the army to meet the new threat we face.” He said that “the British army is not mobilizing to provoke a war. It is mobilizing to prevent war“in Europe. He called the scale of the war in Ukraine” unprecedented “.
“We don’t know how the war in Ukraine will end, but in all scenarios, Russia will be an even greater threat to European security after Ukraine than before,” he clarified.
The general reported that “the Russian wars historically start very badly. But the Russian war in its strategy and, not its tactical level, depth and resilience means they can go through a series of campaigns, lost battles and still regenerate and finally prevail“, He explained.
His comments, at an annual military conference in London, came as Johnson and other leaders of the 30-member NATO alliance prepared to meet in Madrid for a historic summit dominated by the West’s response to the Russian war.
When Boris Johnson was asked if they were preparing for war with Russia, the prime minister said: “I don’t think we’ll get there. We are clearly working very hard to make sure we limit this to Ukraine. “
“Putin and the Kremlin will try to widen the conflict and will try to say that this is something that NATO and Russia should do, and that’s not all. This is an invasion of an independent and sovereign country. It’s about the West and all the friends of Ukraine giving them the support they need to protect themselves, ”Johnson said.
General Sanders’ warnings were echoed by British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who spoke at the London conference before leaving for Madrid for the NATO conference.
Wallace, a former military man, described Russia “As the most direct and pressing threat to Europe“. “There is a very real danger that Vladimir Putin will go beyond the borders of Ukraine,” he said.
Wallace criticized the budget cuts of the British military by the Conservative and Labor governments, seeking to reduce troop numbers and other capabilities, benefiting from “peace dividends” after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Rescuers in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, after a Russian attack. photo by Reuters
The British Defense Secretary applauded Boris Johnson’s decision increase the defense budget by £ 2.4 billion during this parliament. The figures are likely to be higher, after Boris announced he was abandoning his election program on defense spending.
“Last year, the UK was the third largest defense investor in the world,” he added. There is an expectation that the defense budget will further increase given the growing threat.
Wallace did not mention any new specific increases. But he said Great Britain it must continue to increase investment in defense to deal with threats not only from Russia, but also from China and other countries.
“I’ve always said that when the threat changes, funding must change too,” Wallace added.
DoWhat message is Putin trying to send? of Russia, in the midst of attacks on civilian targets in Kyiv and the Kremenchuk shopping center? Retired British Air Force Deputy Marshal Sean Bell analyzed it.
Asked what the Russian president was trying to convey by carrying out the attack on Kiev, the Air Bell Deputy Marshal said: “Is he sending a message to Zelensky or is it a message to the world at large or is it really part of a strategy. systematic of the bombing campaign? “
He explained that Putin must be concerned about the volume of missiles and weapons entering Ukraine could “turn the tide of the war”. “So it’s not unreasonable from a military point of view that Putin is trying to hit rail lines, communication lines and potentially ammunition factories, but not a supermarket,” he said.
Russia said the destruction of the mall occurred following an attack on an arms depot.
“It seems they don’t have all the precision weapons they should. Obviously they’re using old stuff, “added Deputy Marshal Bel.” This kind of damage in the 1940s could have been considered collateral damage, “he acknowledged.” In 2022, with the expectation of a surgical strike, that’s a lot difficult to justify “.
Maria Laura Avignolo