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Putin Will Sacrifice 20 Million Russian Soldiers to Win in Ukraine: Diplomat

Yes, we all know the war in Ukraine is going from bad to infinitely worse for Russian President Putin. But how far is he willing to go? We all know he has made some scary threats of nuclear war and alluded to the use of tactical nuclear weapons. But how many soldiers will he let die to be able to say he achieved some sort of victory? We may soon find out: 

A former Russian diplomat has warned that President Vladimir Putin will sacrifice ten to 20 million Russian soldiers to win the war in Ukraine, saying, “it’s a matter of principle, its a matter of survival” for the Russian leader.

Speaking to Sky News’ Political Editor Beth Rigby, Boris Bondarev said that Putin “understands that if he loses the war with Ukraine, it will be the end of him.”

You should have no doubt about it. He may sacrifice 10 or 20 million Russians just to win this war just to slaughter all Ukrainians because it’s a matter of principle. It’s a matter of political survival to him.”

Bondarev quit Russia’s permanent mission at the United Nations in Geneva over the war in May.

The exiled diplomat warned the West against failing to meet Putin’s threats head-on.


Image of Ukraine tank firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Responding to a question from Rigby about Biden’s cautious responses to Putin, Bondarev said, “when you say that you don’t want to provoke a bully, it gives him the wrong signal. It shows him you are afraid of him, and he will escalate further. You must show Putin a clear signal that if he wants escalation, he will get it. You must show that his threats are not working.”

The exiled Russian, who worked in nuclear disarmament, according to Sky News, warned that Putin’s nuclear threats were another reason to remove him from power. “While Putin and his regime are in power in Russia, this threat of war — the threat of nuclear war — will not go anywhere,”  he said.

Putin is using the potential nuclear catastrophe to “compel other countries to whatever he wants,” he said.

Bondarev noted that the war had not gone to plan for the Russian leader. Speaking on day 240 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said Putin “planned a it to be very short, very easy war for one or two weeks. Now he has to win it at all costs.”


Ukraine’s military firing artillery. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Bondarev told Rigby, “I think the 20 years of him in power have been very lucky for him. He is not smart. He is just lucky. Now I think his luck is over.”

Bethany Dawson is a junior news reporter on the UK news team based in London, where this first appeared. She holds a BSc in Politics and Sociology and was previously a freelance journalist for publications such as The Independent, the BBC, The Times, VICE, Refinery29, Private Eye, The Big Issue and more. 

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Bethany Dawson Bethany is a junior news reporter on the UK news team based in London.