'Russia considers this a war with UK': Ex-NATO commander reveals Kremlin mindset

28 June 2022, 16:52

By James Bickerton

Russia considers itself to be "at war" with Britain according to a former NATO chief, who warned there will be "no peace in Europe" for as long as Putin "lives in the Kremlin".

General Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe from 2011 to 2014, warned the British public must be ready for sacrifices.

He told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty: "We may not be at war with Russia but, as far as Russia is concerned, Russia is at war with us. Anyone who knows the Kremlin knows they have thought like that since 2014.

"This war did not begin on the 24th February, it began in 2014. We now have to play catchup to really ensure we are ready.

"This will have profound consequences in terms of our society, our economies, our defence spending, our industrial capacity and our willingness to do what needs to be done to ensure ultimately Putin and Putinism is defeated because there will be no peace in Europe whilst he lives in the Kremlin."

Sir Richard was asked about comments by General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff, who warned Britain faces another "1937 moment" and must be ready for conflict with Russia.

READ MORE: Shopping centre in Ukraine with 1,000 people inside hit in Russian missile strike

He replied: "He is absolutely right. I would differ with only one thing - I think it's 1938, I don't think we've got as much time as that."

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, sparking one of the largest wars in Europe since WWII.

The UK, and other NATO allies, have been providing Ukraine with weapons and financial support.

NATO leaders are meeting in Madrid to help coordinate their response.

Sir Richard warned there is a real risk of NATO being drawn into the conflict unless it can deter Russia.

He commented: "Until and unless NATO is ready for the worst case, able to face down Russia with strength, there is a real risk of this war expanding.

"The only way to manage the risk of escalation taking place."

READ MORE: Putin suffering 'grave' illnesses and will be dead in two years, Ukraine spy chief claims

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