Putin’s successor to launch ‘proxy war to get back at UK for Ukraine

Vladimir Putin accuses The West of ‘starting the war’

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Vladimir Putin’s successor is likely to launch a “proxy war” with the UK in order to get back at us for our support for Ukraine, a defence industry analyst has claimed. Defence Industry Analyst Nicholas Drummond told the Daily Express that whoever replaces Putin will be “cut from the same cloth”. This, he said, means that Russia is likely to remain a “serious problem” for the foreseeable future, even if the war with Ukraine comes to an end.

The former Army Officer explained: “The most important point you need to make is that, even if Putin steps down voluntarily, even if he’s ousted and someone else comes in, whoever replaces him will be cut from the same cloth.

“They will share the same values, same beliefs and same goals.

“So even if Putin withdraws, Russia will stay a serious problem for the foreseeable, if it’s not at war with Ukraine, it will be prosecuting a very serious proxy or hybrid war with us to get back at us for our war in Ukraine.”

The UK has provided significant support to Ukraine throughout the war, which began one year ago.

It also imposed heavy economic sanctions on Russian individuals, politicians and businesses.

Western allies are currently weighing up whether to escalate support levels and supply krainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with fighter jets.

But there is concern that sending fighter jets to the warzone could escalate the conflict and cause Russian retaliation.

Giving an address in Westminster Hall last week, Mr Zelensky presented Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle with a Ukrainian fighter pilot’s helmet as a symbolic gift for what the war effort needed.

He added: “In your country, your King (Charles III) is an airforce pilot, in my country airforce pilots are kings.”

Former PM Boris Johnson quickly came out in support of the move, saying “there is no reason” that the aircraft cannot be supplied to Ukraine.

But Mr Drummond said fear of retaliation from Putin is what “colours all of the discussion” behind closed doors.

The expert said the UK’s policy so far has been “just enough, just in time” in an attempt to avoid escalation.

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He added: “We don’t want Ukraine to run out (of weapons) but at the same time, Putin could suddenly turn round and attack a NATO country.

“He could decide to attack Poland because they were directly supporting Ukraine and claim it was a justified retaliation. If something like that happens, then all bets are off.”

The UK is currently training Ukrainian pilots to fly British jets but is waiting to see what Russia does next before sending the equipment, the Daily Express understands.

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