British Army chief warns 'Russia will be an even greater threat to European security after Ukraine'

General Sir Patrick Sanders has warned UK forces need to be prepared to fight

Published

Russia is likely to emerge from the war in Ukraine as an even greater threat to European security despite the setbacks it has suffered in its campaign, the head of the British Army has said.

General Sir Patrick Sanders said UK forces, together with Nato allies, needed to be prepared to fight if they were to avert future conflicts.

Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) land warfare conference in London, Sir Patrick said it was “dangerous” to assume that Ukraine was a “limited conflict”.

General Sir Patrick Sanders
General Sir Patrick Sanders

“Historically Russia often starts wars badly. Because Russia wages war at the strategic and not the tactical level its depth an resilience means it can suffer any number of campaigns, battles and engagements lost and yet regenerate and still ultimately prevail,” he said.

“While Russia’s conventional capability will be reduced for a time at least, Putin’s declared intent to restore the lands of historic Russia makes any respite temporary and the threat will become even more acute.

“We don’t know how the war in Ukraine will end but in most scenarios Russia will be an even greater threat to European security after Ukraine than it was before.

“The Russian invasion has reminded us of that time-honoured maxim that if you want to avert conflict you had better be prepared to fight.”