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UK’s Truss: Putin lashing out because ‘he isn’t winning’

Liz Truss
AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Liz Truss arrives at Conservative Central Office in Westminster after winning the Conservative Party leadership contest in London, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022. Liz Truss will become Britain’s new Prime Minister after an audience with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday Sept. 6. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, on Sunday said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent moves indicate a reaction to Moscow losing ground in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“The reason Putin is doing this is because he isn’t winning. He made a strategic mistake invading Ukraine, and I think he has been outsmarted by the Ukrainians. We’ve seen the Ukrainians continue to push back against the Russian offensive. And I think he didn’t anticipate the strength of reaction from the free world,” Truss told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

“We should not be listening to his saber-rattling and his bogus threats.”  

In an apparent reaction to Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive that pushed Russian forces out of some territory it had occupied, Putin last week ordered the mobilization of 300,000 new troops, a move met with much frustration within Russia.

Putin also threatened the use of nuclear weapons, exacerbating already heightened international concern over the potential use of such weapons in the conflict.

Additionally, Russia moved to hold referendums in parts of Ukraine it still occupies, widely interpreted as an effort to eventually annex those areas.

Truss in the interview aired Sunday called for continued sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine in its counteroffensive. 

“If Putin is allowed to succeed, this wouldn’t just send a terrible message in Europe and, of course, huge threats to the Ukrainian population themselves, but it also would send a message to other authoritarian regimes around the world that it’s somehow acceptable … to invade a sovereign nation,” Truss said. 

She also said the U.K. will continue to work with the U.S. and Group of 7 allies “until Ukraine prevails.” 

Tags Jake Tapper Liz truss putin russia Russian invasion of Ukraine ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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