Russia has seen its economy tank due to the swathe of sanctions Western countries and NATO allies unleashed to cripple Moscow into withdrawing from Ukraine. Vladimir Putin was delivered a series of hammer blows since the invasion, the latest of which was the sinking of Russia’s flagship, Moskva, in the Black Sea. Former NATO Commander Rear Admiral Chris Parry suggested the strategic temperature across Russia is growing hotter as he warned Putin could soon “lash out” against the West to save face domestically.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Parry said: “The strategic temperature in Russia is getting pretty hot.
“That’s what we’re seeing, and a lot of this huffing and puffing is coming because the Russian leadership is under severe pressure both internally and externally.
“They’re facing the collapse of their economy, their army is being shown not to be very good, their navy has been shown to be having a bit of a problem as well.
“They’re under severe pressure so what you’re seeing is a lot of flailing around, looking for things to intimidate NATO and the West, and also to put pressure on Ukraine by implying that the West will be intimidated away from supporting it.”
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He cited the example of Japan in the run-up to the US entering the Second World War as an example Putin might follow to avenge his public image.
Mr Parry continued: “If you look at it from Putin’s point of view, it will be strictly rational.
As a historian, I’d like to draw everybody’s attention to when Japan was squeezed very tight in the Second World War.
Because of its actions in China, the United States and every other democratic country really put the pressure on Japan leading to an oil import ban and, in the end, Japan lashed out, and attacked Pearl Harbour and also the Dutch, British and French empires in the Asia Pacific region.”
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Russia is still trying to capture territory in the south and east after withdrawing from the north following a massive assault on Kyiv that was repelled at the capital’s outskirts.
Ukraine said its troops are still holding out in the ruins of Mariupol, where the defense is concentrated around Azovstal, another huge steelwork that has yet to yield.
Defence ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a televised briefing: “The situation in Mariupol is difficult… Fighting is happening right now.
“The Russian army is constantly calling on additional units to storm the city.”