Home » Army chief warns Britain unprepared for WW3 as Putin sends direct threat

Army chief warns Britain unprepared for WW3 as Putin sends direct threat

A ranting Vladimir Putin has threatened a “response” after accusing the UK of direct involvement in the war in Ukraine. The Kremlin chief alleged that British Armed Forces personnel were now helping in the targeting of missiles hitting Russia.

The Russian president went on the offensive on the same day as the outgoing head of the Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, warned that Britain should be better prepared for a war so large it could kill tens of millions of people.

Putin again threatened to use nuclear weapons if Russia‘s sovereignty and territorial integrity were compromised, before chillingly warning: “This should not be taken lightly, superficially.”

For the first time, the dictator also warned that Moscow will now supply advanced weapons to enemies of Britain and other Western countries, such as the United States, in response to them providing long-range arms to Kyiv.

These Russian weapons could then be used to harm NATO countries, he said. In a rambling televised interview, Putin accused Britain, the US and France of using their armed forces to target Russian positions linked to the Ukraine war.

“With regard to long-range precision weapons … such as the British Storm Shadow or the American ATACMS or French missiles,” he said in an interview with journalists at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. “How is it used?

“Ukrainian servicemen cannot do everything on their own and strike with this missile. They are simply technologically unable to do it.”

“To do this, you need to have satellite reconnaissance, then, on the basis of this satellite reconnaissance … to form a flight task, and then enter it into the missile system.”

And he added: “The serviceman who is next to it, he does it just automatically – he pushes buttons. He may not even know what will happen next.”

Putin made clear he sees this as direct Western involvement in the war.

“I repeat, the flight task is formed and … entered only by those who supply these weapons,” he said.

“If it’s ATACMS, then the Pentagon does it. If it is Storm Shadow, it means that the British are doing it.

“And in the case of Storm Shadow, it’s even simpler.

“The simplicity lies in the fact that the flight task is entered automatically, without the involvement of military personnel on the ground, automatically.

“The British do it, so that’s it.”

Putin said there could be an “asymmetrical response” for Western long-range missiles deployed by Ukraine to hit Russian territory.
Until now, these weapons have been used only to strike Russian-invaded areas of Ukraine, but Kyiv now has permission for strikes inside Putin’s borders.

Putin made clear he was also ready to supply weapons in the way NATO countries had, but in his case to enemies of Britain and other Western counties.

He asked: “What should we do in response?

“First, we will, of course, improve our air defence systems. We will destroy them.

“Second – we are thinking that if someone considers it possible to supply such weapons to a war zone to strike at our territory and create problems for us, then why do we not have the right to supply our weapons of the same class to those regions of the world where they will strike at sensitive facilities of those countries that are doing this to Russia?

“So the response could be asymmetrical. We will think about this.”

Putin did not specify exactly who he had in mind to supply weapons to.

“If we see that these countries are being drawn into a war against the Russian Federation, then we reserve the right to act in the same way. In general, this is a path to very serious problems,” he said.

On the prospect of nuclear war, he warned the West not to turn a blind eye to the risk. Russia’s nuclear doctrine allowed the use of tactical – or battlefield – nuclear weapons, he said.
“For some reason, the West believes that Russia will never use it,” said the dictator.

“We have a nuclear doctrine, look what it says. If someone’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible for us to use all means at our disposal. This should not be taken lightly, superficially.”

The doctrine, dating from 2020, says Russia could press the button as a response to an attack using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, or to the use of conventional weapons against Russia “when the very existence of the state is put under threat”.

Putin’s latest rant came as the outgoing head of the British Army General Sir Patrick also warned of the dangers of another massive worldwide war.

Speaking at the D-Day commemorations in France, Sir Patrick, 58, said: “There is every prospect, if you look at the pattern of history, that it could happen again … I think the importance of this event is it’s a reminder that preparedness is absolutely critically important and to do things at this scale, there’s a whole-of-nation effort.”
Last week, it emerged the size of the Army had dipped below the target figure for the first time, with a former senior chief blaming the “very poor” state of equipment and “desperate cuts” in training.

The Conservative government had planned to shrink the army from 82,000 troops to 73,000 by 2025, the lowest number since the Napoleonic era and a figure that had already concerned American and European allies.

However, personnel statistics released by the Ministry of Defence revealed it had dipped below that target figure to 72,510 — and that the size of the regular Army and its reserve is shrinking month by month as more people leave than sign up.
Several senior European figures have expressed fears the British Army would no longer be big enough to help fight Russia.