Ukraine: World 'overestimated' Russian strength says Smith
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Mr Smith claimed that people overestimated Russia’s war power and underestimated Ukraine’s ability to hit back at Moscow. The former government advisor spoke about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the Italian parliament, claiming he was on the verge of winning the war. Mr Smith also addressed leaked reports on the number of Russian troops who had perished whilst fighting against Ukraine, which this week were reported to have hit 15,000.
Mr Smith told talkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Look, Julia, the first thing I would say is, I think the world has overestimated the strength and capability of the Russian army.
“And hugely underestimated, the strength capability and the pure will of not just the Ukrainian army, but the Ukrainian people.
“Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that when he spoke to the Italian parliament that Ukraine was on the verge of winning this war.
“And indeed, I think they are, because, on the battle on the ground, they are absolutely taring the Russian forces apart.
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Mr Smith added: “And there seems to be increasing, recognition among Western commentators of the claims that the Ukrainians have been making from day one.
“And I think that’s very interesting, even the Russians admitted a couple of days ago, although they took it down very quickly that they had lost nearly 10,000.
“The Ukrainian estimates for the number of Russians killed yesterday was 15,400, and this is from the Ukrainian ministry of defence.
“I worked at the heart of their Government for two years, they’re not like the Russians, they do not communicate or use the same techniques of the Russians when it comes to communication, in terms of lying on an industrial scale.
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Mr Smith added: “I believe these figures, that they are genuinely their best estimates.
“And believe me I have challenged friends in Ukraine, to say look are these real because I don’t want to go on radio or tv which as you know I’ve been doing a lot and put my reputation on the line.”
Reports have also emerged of starving Russian soldiers, claiming that Russian troops are days away from running out of food and vital supplies.
A senior US defence official said: “They [the Ukrainians] are now able and willing to take back territory the Russians have taken.
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“It’s notable. Not only are the Ukrainians defending well, they’re making efforts to take back territory the Russians have taken in recent days.
“Some of their [Russia’s] soldiers are suffering from frostbite because they lack the appropriate cold-weather gear. We don’t think they properly planned.”
Hamish De Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert, also warned of the possibility of President Putin starting to “escalate” the war if he continues to lose and be “bogged down”.
Mr De Bretton-Gordon said: “I’m really concerned at the moment because the Russian army is bogged down. It is just not very good.
“I was a tank commander as a youngster and the performance of their tank battalions and tanks is shocking.
“I fear that if they are bogged down, which I think they are, if they’re going to progress they have got to escalate and the escalation to me is irregular weapons – so incendiary, chemical and – god forbid – battlefield nuclear – If he wants to get this over quickly.”
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