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Putin DOOMED: Ex-army officer brilliantly sums up why Ukraine will triumph on battleground

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Former US Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling tweeted that Armed Forces with an unshakeable belief in what they are fighting for and with the right support can overcome a force that seemingly has superior resources. Mr Hertling, who commanded 1st Armoured Division and US Army Europe before retiring in 2013, explained that, while Russia has superiority in the air and “devastating” artillery, its training “sucks” and intelligence “is clumsy”.

He said: “Their soldiers are mostly one year conscripts, not professionals, and they have a poor NCO Corps. Their officers – for the most part – are terrible.”

The former soldier added that when he first served with Ukrainian soldiers in 2004, they were also poorly led, trained and disciplined, but they have since improved significantly because of revamped training, more battlefield experience and good leaders.

He tweeted: “Since then, Ukraine’s Army has continued to evolve and now they have an extremely supportive population, good officer & NCO leadership, they are a professional force with a good reserve ready to support, & their government is also supportive.

“Add to this, Ukraine now has allies…all over the world. More support.”

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An ex-US Army officer says Ukraine will triumph against Vladimir Putin’s Russia (Image: Getty)

Firefighters work at a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv

Firefighters work at a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of Kiev. (Image: Getty)

Mr Hertling went on to say that Moscow’s invasion is being scorned due to the “lies and crimes” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning that the derision would continue as Russian forces “continue to commit battlefield atrocities”.

He described Ukraine as having a tough first day of fighting, warning that today will be tougher with a combination of conventional, unconventional, cyber, air, artillery and special operations tools being tough to address.

He continued: “But Russia is still on the offensive so they have to act, and must continue to move. They will wear down.

“Though Ukraine’s initial [defence] wasn’t great today, it will improve. Whether called an ‘insurgency’ or a ‘[guerrilla] war’, [Ukraine] will wear down an enemy that already has low morale and an even lower support from their population back in mother [Russia].

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People hide in a bomb shelter in Kyiv in the early hours of February 25

People hide in a bomb shelter in Kiev in the early hours of February 25 (Image: Getty)

A military column moves across the town of Armyansk, northern Crimea

A military column moves across the town of Armyansk, northern Crimea (Image: Getty)

“Don’t discount the [Russian] Army’s increasing unwillingness to fight for Putin. They will see their cause as being suspect… if they don’t already. And they will experience more battlefield deaths than they anticipated, which will cause even more protests at home. It will likely be a long fight. Putin will be increasingly portrayed as a loser.

“He [is] not a risk taker, he’s a gambler. You can mitigate risk, but you can’t overcome a losing gamble. Putin will go the way of Stalin, Hitler, Ceausescu, Saddam. And Ukraine will be a stronger nation… but only if we continue to stand beside.”

Mr Hertling’s analysis comes as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he would expect Mr Putin to be “held to account” if he committed a war crime.

He told Sky News: “If President Putin commits a war crime, then, just as I do if I were to commit a war crime, I should expect to be held to account.”

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The military imbalance between Russia and Ukraine (Image: Express)

Asked if Mr Putin’s actions already constituted a war crime, he said: “I’m not, I’m afraid, an international lawyer.

“I couldn’t tell you the difference between breaking international law insofar as directing your forces to invade another country, versus a war crime – eg. things like genocide, and indeed, you know, torture, etc.

“I wouldn’t want to speculate the differences. What I would say is he’s clearly broken international law, he’s occupying or trying to occupy a sovereign country who made one mistake in his eyes.

“Their mistake in his eyes was not to choose the Kremlin as a way for their future. And that’s all they have done.”

People stage an anti-war demonstration at Pushkinskaya Square following Russia's military operation in Ukraine, on February 24, 2022 in Moscow

People stage an anti-war demonstration at Pushkinskaya Square, Moscow. (Image: Getty)

Russia launched its invasion by land, air and sea on Thursday following a declaration of war by Mr Putin in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.

Missiles pounded the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on Friday as Russian forces pressed their advance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with the international community to do more, saying sanctions announced so far were not enough.

Mr Putin says Russia is carrying out a special military operation to stop the Ukrainian government from committing genocide against its own people – an accusation the West calls baseless.

He also says Ukraine is an illegitimate state whose lands historically belong to Russia.

Mr Zelenskyy said the world was continuing to observe what was going on in Ukraine after its capital and other parts of the country were struck by Russian missiles in the early hours of Friday.

Addressing the Russian population in Russian at the end of a televised speech, Mr Zelenskyy said the bombing of Kiev was reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s attacks during World War Two.

He said: “This is reminiscent of 1941. To all the citizens of the Russian Federation who went out to protest, I want to say: we see you. This means you heard us. This means you are starting to believe us. Fight for us, fight against the war.”

Hundreds were detained across Russian cities on Thursday after taking part in protests after Moscow launched its military operation.

A senior Ukrainian official said Russian forces would enter areas just outside Kiev later on Friday.



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