Russia refuses to accept it’s fragile, Putin hasn’t dared go near NATO: UK

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Russia is “much more fragile” than it wants to admit and the hierarchy of the Russian army is “splintered”, while Russian President Vladimir Putin “hasn’t dared go near NATO”, UK Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said on Tuesday.

“I think Russia is much more fragile than the Russians want to admit… The splinter in the hierarchy of the Russian army is very real, the casualty rates are atrocious,” Wallace said according to The Guardian. He added that he thought the war in Ukraine was “winnable”.

Wallace also stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been “very, very cautious” of respecting NATO territory.

“An ever more aggressive President Putin, with constant threatening red lines that then usually melt away, he hasn’t dared go near NATO. Russia has been very, very cautious of respecting NATO’s territory. We have not seen lashings out into areas like Estonia or Latvia. They have been absolutely considerate of NATO. They have been really, really cautious to make sure that they don’t provoke,” Wallace said.

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He added: “You could argue that the alliance in itself does function. The deterrent of Article 5 functions.” Article 5 of the NATO treaty is the collective defense clause, stating that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all members, requiring a collective response.

Even prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the history of animosity between Russia and NATO dates back to the Cold War era. In present day, Russia views NATO enlargement as a strategic encirclement and a violation of agreements made during the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Conflicts such as the NATO intervention in Kosovo, the war in Georgia, and the crisis in Ukraine have further strained relations, leading to increased military posturing, mutual accusations, and a general sense of distrust between Russia and NATO.

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