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Putin Is ‘A Man In a Cage That He Built Himself’ (The Cage Is Ukraine)

NATO Germany
A Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) is pictured during a live firing exercise in Grafenwöhr, Germany. Exercise BAVARIAN CHARGER was the first of three large contingency operation exercises being undertaken by 20th Armoured Brigade between May – October 2013. Contingency Operations training is known as Hybrid Foundation Training or HFT.

Putin’s problems keep growing in Ukraine – British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Thursday told Sky News that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “is not the force he used to be” as he announced the UK and its allies will send Ukraine more advanced weaponry like armored vehicles and long-range artillery.

Wallace described Putin as “a man in a cage he built himself,” alluding to myriad ways in wage Russia has been isolated both economically and politically since launching an unprovoked war against Ukraine in late February. Russia has been slapped with crippling sanctions from countries across the world, and it’s estimated that the war and its consequences will shrink the Russian economy by 10%.

“Russia is a lesser country rather than a greater country as a result of him knowingly and deliberately breaking international law by invading,” Wallace added. “His army is exhausted, he has suffered significant losses. The reputation of this great army of Russia has been trashed.”

Putin now has to live with the consequences of not only what he’s done to Ukraine but also his own forces, Wallace went on to say, emphasizing that the Russian military has experienced staggering losses in the war thus far.

Russia has lost between 7,000 and 15,000 soldiers since the war again, per the latest NATO estimates.

The countries didn’t disclose the types of artillery and armored vehicles on Thursday, but the step ramps up the support they are providing to Ukraine while stopping short of tanks or fighter jets. Wallace said the artillery is needed to counter Russian artillery that’s been shattering Ukrainian cities.

President Joe Biden on Thursday said that Putin “seems to be self-isolated.”

“There’s some indication that he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisors,” Biden said. But he added, “I don’t want to put too much stock in that this time because we don’t have that much hard evidence.”

A US official on Wednesday told reporters that Putin’s advisors are too afraid to give him accurate intelligence on how poorly Russia’s war in Ukraine is going.

“We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions because his senior advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth,” the official said.

NATO on Thursday also expressed skepticism regarding Russia’s announcement that it would reduce military activity near Kyiv.

“According to our intelligence, Russian units are not withdrawing but repositioning,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference. “Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in the Donbas region,” he added, referencing eastern Ukraine.

The NATO chief said Russia was maintaining pressure on Kyiv and warned “we can expect additional offensive actions bringing even more suffering.”
John Haltiwanger is a senior politics reporter at Business Insider. He reports on all things politics with a particular focus on national security and foreign policy. 
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John Haltiwanger is a senior politics reporter at Business Insider. He reports on all things politics with a particular focus on national security and foreign policy.