Russian President Vladimir Putin “realizes he’s made a mistake” with his invasion of Ukraine, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis said Sunday during The Cats Roundtable radio show on WABC 770 AM.
“Has Putin realized he made a mistake or does he still think he did the right thing?” host John Catsimatidis asked the former NATO leader.
“I think in the dark, quiet hours at two o’clock in the morning, when he wakes up, he realizes he’s made a mistake. Publicly, he’ll never admit that. Never. He’ll continue to maintain this fiction that Ukraine is run by ‘neo-Nazis.’ Ridiculous, obviously,” Stavridis responded.
“Putin will maintain that NATO has somehow pushed him into this corner, this conflict. Everything that has happened is of Vladimir Putin’s doing, including the invasion, the sanctions that have followed, and the military pushback. I think he knows it in his heart, he’ll never admit it publicly,” he continued.
Stavridis was also asked when he thought that war would conclude. He said both sides are at least six months away from coming up with a solution. However, he said what’s “driving us toward a negotiation” are the “difficulties Putin is facing as he burns through troops,” and the destruction of Russian military equipment.
“He is burning through capability. I’d say, six months from now, he’s going to be in dire straits,” the former NATO leader said of Putin. “On the other side of the battlefield, Zelensky has to recognize that the patience of the West and the continued flow of cash and weapons is not infinite. I think both those factors will ultimately drive the sides to come to some kind of negotiation…”
In an interview last month, Stavridis said he believed the Russia-Ukraine war would likely end in four to six months and have a conclusion similar to the Korean War.
“I see this one headed toward a Korean War ending, which is to say an armistice, a militarized zone between the two sides, ongoing animosity, kind of a frozen conflict. Look for that in a four- to six-month period. Neither side can sustain it much beyond that,” he said.
In an interview last week, Kurt Volker, a distinguished fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and former U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations, said he believed Russia is in a “weak position” position in the war citing military losses and political isolation.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 18, Russia had lost about 80,450 personnel, 5,687 tanks, 7,886 armored combat vehicles, 1849 artillery units, 448 multiple launch rocket systems, 213 air defense systems, 220 warplanes, 288 helicopters, 690 drones, 366 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 8,753 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 170 units of special equipment.
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