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UK diplomat criticizes Russia for 'astounding levels of incompetence' in Ukraine, labeling it a 'so-called superpower'

Ukraine tank
A Ukrainian tank drives down a street in Siversk which is situated near the front lines with Russia on January 21, 2023 in Siversk, Ukraine.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • A British diplomat has described a series of catastrophic failings by Russia in Ukraine.

  • He described Russia as a "so-called" superpower, saying its credibility has been dented.

  • Russia has threatened to respond to the UK arming Ukraine with armor-piercing weapons.

A British diplomat has criticised Russia's military for its "astounding levels of incompetence" in Ukraine, claiming its actions have ruined Russia's international standing.

Ian Stubbs, a UK government military advisor, listed the missteps in a speech to the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe Wednesday.

"With support from their partners, Ukraine has shown that agility and ingenuity can have a devastating effect against a so-called superpower," Stubbs said.


He said that Russian mercenary group Wagner has suffered staggeringly high casualties in its recent bid to seize control of the east Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, and Russian divisions were now low on manpower and ammunition.

"Approximately 30,000 Russian fighters have been killed or wounded since the battle for Bakhmut began nine months ago, with the Wagner-dominated force advancing just 25 km in this time."

"Try as they might to present an alternate reality to the ground truth with an increasingly ridiculous carpet of disinformation, the astounding levels of incompetence in Russia's military leadership that have eroded Russia's military reputation are clear for all to see," he said.

He also noted that Russia had resorted to using outdated, Soviet-era equipment.

"These Stalin era naval weapon systems, 60-year-old T-62 main battle tanks and vintage BTR-50 armoured personnel carriers that Russia is operating in Ukraine are indeed a true demonstration of the type of 'high technical performance' for which Russia's military and defence industry are now regarded," he said.

The UK and Russia have been exchanging diplomatic blows since the start of the conflict, with the UK one of Ukraine's main international allies.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin recently said Russia would "respond accordingly" if UK plans to deliver armor-piercing shells to Ukraine go ahead.

"The United Kingdom ... announced not only the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but also shells with depleted uranium. If this happens, Russia will be forced to respond accordingly, given that the West collectively is already beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider