Putin knows he's made a 'grave mistake' invading Ukraine but will never admit it, says former NATO commander

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is shown looking down and touching his nose while giving a military salute in the background.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts during the Navy Day parade July 31, 2022 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Contributor/Getty Images
Putin probably realizes he made a mistake in invading Ukraine, a former NATO leader has said.
"I think he knows in his heart he'll never admit it publicly," said James G. Stavridis.
Russia is "blowing through" military capacity and cannot maintain it, Stavridis said.
Former NATO leader James Stavridis said Russian President Vladimir Putin probably regrets the invasion of Ukraine but will never admit it.
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Stavridis, who was NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe from 2009 to 2013, spoke about the invasion on a radio show on Saturday.
Stavridis was a guest on "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC New York, a show hosted by grocery billionaire John Catsimatidis, who also owns WABC.
Asked if Putin knew the invasion of Ukraine was a mistake, Stavridis said: "I think in the dark, quiet hours at 2 a.m. when he wakes up, he realizes he made a mistake. Publicly he will never admit it. Never."
Stavridis said Putin will perpetuate the "fiction" that neo-Nazis rule Ukraine and that he was forced into the conflict by NATO rather than opting for invasion.
But, he said, Putin knows he is responsible for the invasion, sanctions and military rejection.
"I think he knows in his heart he'll never admit it publicly," he said.
According to Stavridi, Putin is "burning through skills" in the Russian military.
"I would say in six months he will be in very serious distress," Stavridis said, speculating at the time that negotiations could begin.
According to the Pentagon, Russia has suffered up to 80,000 victims. In the interview, Stavridis put that number closer to 70,000 dead and wounded.
His comments came as reports highlighted seemingly desperate tactics used by Russia to replenish its ranks, including offering freedom to prisoners who enlist and significant cash rewards to others who join.
Sanctions imposed on Russia by western countries have also taken their toll, sending the economy back to 2018 levels, insiders previously reported.
Read the original article on Business Insider
Wladimir Putin
President of Russia
James G Stavridis
Admiral of the US Navy

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