Ukraine warned ‘odds stacked against you’ as Putin prepares final ‘plan’

Victory for Ukraine is looking far from assured two years into its bloody war with Russia, a former jet pilot warns.

The bleak assessment comes at a difficult time for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Kyiv is being supplied with aid and arms from its European allies, but the flow has slowed to a trickle just as it becomes ever clearer that it would take a deluge to turn its war against Russia around.

Hungary remains a thorn in the country’s side, vetoing 50 billion euros ($54.5 billion) of European Union funding to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s proposed $61bn (£48bn) package for Ukraine is being held up in Congress by the Republican leadership.

All this squabbling is playing directly into Vladimir Putin’s hands, claims retired Air Vice-Marshal Sean Bell.

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As he explains, Russia’s advantage on the battlefield is becoming ever clearer: “Russia is the Goliath to Ukraine’s David. And, whilst they’ve [Ukraine] has done an amazing job of holding out, they don’t have an air force. They don’t have air power. They’re not a member of NATO. They have a lot of issues stacked against them.”

What’s more, Ukraine has failed to make significant gains on the battlefront, he lamented.

“Russia has pretty extensive defensive lines: three layers of ditches, dragon’s teeth and minefields, which, despite the Ukrainians moving about 15km through them, has still not proven enough to make a breakthrough.”

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Bell continued: “So the harsh reality of war is that, although they’ve done a fantastic job, the odds are stacked against them.”

To make matters worse, Uncle Sam may soon turn the taps off, warns the retired Air Vice-Marshal.

“If there is a change of administration in America, who knows what that will bring? But it doesn’t look like it will be helpful for Ukraine. And, therefore, Putin will be playing the long game,” Bell added.

Indeed, Putin already seems to be seizing on Ukraine’s precarious position.

Hours after Hungary vetoed the latest EU package, Ukraine reported dozens of attempted drone attacks in the past day.

Ukraine’s air force said Saturday that Ukrainian air defence had shot down 30 out of 31 drones launched overnight against 11 regions of the country.

Russia also said on Friday evening that it had thwarted a series of Ukrainian drone attacks.

Russian anti-aircraft units destroyed 32 Ukrainian drones over the Crimean Peninsula, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that most of the world considered illegal, and has used it as a staging and supply point during the war.

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