Head of UK armed forces warns army ‘must be war-fit’ in face of Putin threat

In the face of a growing nuclear threat from Vladimir Putin, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin has said that Britain’s armed forces needed to be “match fit, or more to the point, war-fit,” to face Russia.

Sir Tony, who is head of the UK’s armed forces, says that Putin was running out of options because of his failing war in Ukraine and his nuclear rhetoric was “worrying and deeply irresponsible”.

Putin has recently warned that Russia has “various means of destruction,” and wouldn’t hesitate to use any of them if its borders were under threat.

READ MORE: Russia has ‘already lost’ war in Ukraine, says UK's armed forces chief

In the Lord Mayor’s defence and security lecture at Mansion House on Wednesday (October 19), Sir Tony added that the armed forces needed to be “match fit, or more to the point, ‘war-fit’, to meet the demands of state-on-state competition, better supported by more resilient supply chains and a greater capacity in our industrial base”.

He said that with his troops losing territory and with supplies of arms and ammunition running low, Putin could be forced to take desperate action.

Sir Tony added that Putin’s disastrous war on Ukraine had “mortgaged his country’s economic future, repelled its neighbours in the ‘near abroad’ and,” he added “even China is losing patience”.

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told The Times earlier this week that Putin “knows no limits” and said Britain was forced to take his nuclear threats seriously because he was not a man that acted rationally.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko has warned that the world should take the Russian leader's repeated threats to use nuclear weapons seriously and be "prepared for the worst."

Klitschko, whose brother, Vitali, is mayor of Kyiv, added: If they say they want to use the nukes, I believe they will use the nukes. They have the nukes, they've been … threatening the world with the nukes … many, many times”.

He said that the Ukrainian government and private institutions have distributed information through social media and other platforms, telling its citizens what to do in the event of a nuclear strike.

Here in the UK, defence experts say that that although Putin is unlikely to carry out a nuclear strike on land, he could use a nuclear weapon as a show of force by firing it into the Black Sea.

But even that could trigger a massive response from NATO forces, potentially putting British troops in the front line.

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