Putin's Chechen ally lets mask slip as he admits Russia 'finding it difficult' in Ukraine

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The Chechen strongman came clean over the lack of progress the Russian military has been able to make against Ukraine’s determined resistance. Kadyrov blamed the stalled Russian offensive on the fact NATO was supplying the Ukrainian defenders with state of the art arms and ammunition, he also argued that Western mercenaries were operating in Ukraine and frustrating Vladimir Putin’s plans. 

Kadyrov told the event in Moscow: “Today we are not fighting against Ukraine, and Banderites [Russian term for Ukrainian supporters of WW2 Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera].

“We are fighting against NATO, the West is arming them.

“Their mercenaries are there, and that is why our state is finding it difficult.

“But it is a really good experience.”

He added: “We will prove once again that Russia cannot be defeated.”

It comes as the European Union proposes a 500 million euro defence fund that would help EU governments develop and buy more weapons together, saying that Russia’s war in Ukraine showed the need to modernise.

The money, which would come from the EU’s long-term budget and could also increase with private sector funding, would meet the most pressing weakness in air, land, and sea defences.

It would require the bloc’s governments to make purchases jointly as a means to boost collaboration, one of the EU’s long-term goals is to overcome years of wasted spending as governments pursued national projects leading to duplication.

While most of the EU’s states are members of NATO, EU defence cooperation is seen as strengthening the Western alliance’s European members and reducing dependency on the United States, with all assets still available for NATO use.

The emergency money would be available for 2023 and 2024 but must be agreed by all 27 EU governments.

The EU has already launched a long-term joint weapons fund and has agreed to revitalise its rapid-reaction force. However, joint spending and investment in defence research remain disjointed and lacking collaboration.

Even before Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, European Union states spent nearly 200 billion euros on defence in 2020, the most since records began in 2006. But joint investment by governments fell, the European Defence Agency (EDA) said in December.

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Without US help, the EU would struggle to defend itself, lacking intelligence, reconnaissance aircraft, and medium-range missile defence as well as amphibious ships and submarines, according to a 2020 report by the European Parliament’s sub-committee on security and defence.

Meanwhile, Moscow has continued to press on with its main offensive, trying to capture more territory in the Donbas region of southeastern Ukraine which it claims on behalf of separatists it has supported since 2014.

Mariupol, the main port for the Donbas, is the biggest city Russia has captured so far and gives Moscow full control of the Sea of Azov and an unbroken swathe of territory across the east and south of Ukraine.

The siege was Europe’s deadliest battle at least since the wars in Chechnya and the Balkans of the 1990s.



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