Robert Fox, the Evening Standard’s defence editor, claimed Vladimir Putin could still face crippling sanctions from US President Joe Biden amid concerns Moscow could launch an invasion of Ukraine. Mr Fox joined Mark Dolan and Ukraine political expert, Professor Taras Kuzio, on GB News to discuss what Russia could do next in the region.
It had been reported Putin mobilised up to 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, raising fears he could invade the country just eight years after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula back in 2014.
Mr Dolan had discussed with Professor Kuzio the way Putin might have placed himself in a “delicate position”.
Professor Kuzio, who was born in the UK to Ukrainian and Italian parents, explained: “Now, compared to 2014, the west is on top of it.”
When Dolan asked if Mr Putin was just “sabre rattling” or “waving his willy around”, the Professor responded: “Well, I hope I don’t have to see it!
“But certainly I think we should do a whip round on GB News for his anger management classes.
“But I think that he can’t go away from this and save his face without doing something.”
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Mr Dolan then invited Mr Fox to comment on what action Russia could be considering after he suggested Mr Biden’s administration in Washington had effectively made Moscow “sanction-proof”.
Mr Fox said: “Not necessarily so because I think if it really goes wrong they could face economic collapse and that is the fear in Moscow, I understand.”
Fox, who has been at the capital’s daily newspaper since 1999, added: “If this goes on, he is in real trouble.
“He could go for a tactical gain and he could face, he himself with Putinism, whatever that is, and the Putin system, strategic defeat.”
The 46th American President told a press conference earlier this week that Putin could face harsh economic consequences if he launched an invasion of Ukraine.
Biden said: “He’s never seen sanctions like the ones I promised will be imposed if he moves, number one.
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In a further blow to Putin, Mr Fox claimed Moscow has the “wrong forces to occupy a major part of the territory of Ukraine”.
“Those heavy, really rather out of date tanks, you don’t fight guerrilla warfare with them,” he said.
“Blimey, the Russians found that in that terrible decade in Afghanistan after 1979.
“I think though that given the temperatures bringing things like helicopters forward, they don’t like this weather.
“So, I think you will see them go forward, it will be a barn dance, and then he will pull back.”