Vladimir Putin's 'bloody victory' in Ukraine to cost Russia 'a great deal' as NATO expands

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Russia’s war aim in Ukraine is to “strangle” Kyiv’s access to the sea The Australian’s National Editor Dennis Shanahan has warned. Mr Shanahan spoke out after Russian forces captured the last Ukrainian-held territory in the eastern region of Luhansk. He argued that while Vladimir Putin might be able to seize a short-term “bloody victory” the end result is likely to cost the Kremlin greatly with NATO expanding and growing more aware of the need to counter the combined Russian and Chinese threat. 

Mr Shanahan told Sky News Australia: “I think that the brutal reality is that Russia is strangling Ukraine.

“It’s been a very bloody slow war, a war of attrition.

“But every time Ukraine tries to take a breath, the boa constrictor of Putin squeezes a bit tighter to get his ultimate aim and that is to isolate Ukraine, from the ocean from the sea that’s what’s going to happen.

“Once that happens, Ukraine will have to make some sort of a deal with Russia, it will be a bloody victory for Russia.”

“It will have cost a great deal in the long term, but in the short term, what it has done as United NATO, it’s increased the size of NATO. It’s got the rest of Europe and the US looking at Asia and China as a combined Russian Chinese threat,” he added.

“So I think that in the longer term Putin will actually regret this invasion of Ukraine, although he will be able to claim at some stage a victory of sorts and a victory of his own target.”

It comes as Western officials in China criticised Russia on Monday for its invasion of Ukraine, with the US ambassador saying China should not spread Russian “propaganda”, during an unusual public forum in a country that has declined to condemn Moscow’s attack.

Speaking at the World Peace Forum, organised by Tsinghua University, US ambassador Nicholas Burns called the Russian war against Ukraine “the greatest threat to global world order”.

Mr Burns said he hoped China’s foreign ministry spokespeople would stop repeating “Russian propaganda” blaming NATO for the war.

“I hope foreign ministry spokespersons would also stop telling lies about American bioweapons labs, which do not exist in Ukraine,” he said.

Mr Burns was flanked by the British and French ambassadors to his left and a Chinese government adviser and the Russian ambassador to his right.

The organiser had billed the session as a discussion among representatives of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and the discussion was unusually pointed by the standards of public forums in China in recent years.

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Criticism of Russia’s conduct in Ukraine is largely absent from Chinese media and public discourse.

Russia calls its action in Ukraine a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. 

Ukraine and the West say the fascist allegation is baseless and that the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.

While the session was on the broad topic of “The United Nations and Global Order”, all three Western ambassadors criticised Russia for what they called its illegal aggression against Ukraine, a characterisation rejected by Russian ambassador Andrey Denisov.



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