Ex-Russian diplomat warns Putin willing to sacrifice 20 million soldiers to win the war with Ukraine

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In this image made from video released by the Russian Presidential Press Service, Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he addresses the nation in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

  • An ex-Russian diplomat has warned that Putin will sacrifice 20 million soldiers to win the war in Ukraine.
  • Boris Bondarev urged a strong response to Putin’s threats from the West, he told Sky News.
  • Putin is using the nuclear button to “compel other countries to whatever he wants,” he said.

A former Russian diplomat has warned that President Vladimir Putin will sacrifice ten to 20 million Russian soldiers to win the war in Ukraine, saying, “it’s a matter of principle, its a matter of survival” for the Russian leader. 

Speaking to Sky News’ Political Editor Beth Rigby, Boris Bondarev said that Putin “understands that if he loses the war with Ukraine, it will be the end of him.” 

You should have no doubt about it. He may sacrifice 10 or 20 million Russians just to win this war just to slaughter all Ukrainians because it’s a matter of principle. It’s a matter of political survival to him.”

Bondarev quit Russia’s permanent mission at the United Nations in Geneva over the war in May.

The exiled diplomat warned the West against failing to meet Putin’s threats head-on.

Responding to a question from Rigby about Biden’s cautious responses to Putin, Bondarev said, “when you say that you don’t want to provoke a bully, it gives him the wrong signal. It shows him you are afraid of him, and he will escalate further. You must show Putin a clear signal that if he wants escalation, he will get it. You must show that his threats are not working.”

Russia Ukraine
A destroyed Russian Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) is seen near the village of Nova Husarivka, Ukraine, on September 15, 2022.

The exiled Russian, who worked in nuclear disarmament, according to Sky News, warned that Putin’s nuclear threats were another reason to remove him from power. “While Putin and his regime are in power in Russia, this threat of war — the threat of nuclear war — will not go anywhere,”  he said.

Putin is using the potential nuclear catastrophe to “compel other countries to whatever he wants,” he said.

Bondarev noted that the war had not gone to plan for the Russian leader. Speaking on day 240 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said Putin “planned a it to be very short, very easy war for one or two weeks. Now he has to win it at all costs.” 

Bondarev told Rigby, “I think the 20 years of him in power have been very lucky for him. He is not smart. He is just lucky. Now I think his luck is over.”

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