Power is rapidly ebbing away from Vladimir Putin’s monstrous regime
SIR – Vladimir Putin has lost his strut, and now looks anxious and hunted.
This is good to see, though when he is removed – as he surely will be soon – we must be prepared for his replacement to be even worse.
Mawnan Smith, Cornwall
SIR – In late 1941, as Operation Barbarossa reached its peak, a rampaging Wehrmacht army of 940,000 fought to within 10 miles of the gates of Moscow.
Stalin stood his ground, remaining in the city, which did not fall. He continued to rule the USSR until his death 12 years later.
By contrast, when a small advance unit of the Wagner Group’s motley 25,000 men were still as much as 250 miles from Moscow, Vladimir Putin reportedly deserted the city and fled to St Petersburg.
One wonders what that implies in respect of the longevity of his premiership.
SIR – Don’t let us fall into the trap of thinking that Putin is now finished. A wounded animal is a dangerous animal.
SIR – President Emmanuel Macron’s reported rejection of Ben Wallace’s appointment as the next Nato secretary-general, coupled with his demand that the position must be given to an EU national, is not just a slight to Britain but also threatens to neuter the alliance that has kept our continent secure for nearly 80 years.
As the defence minister responsible for our relations with the EU, I witnessed first-hand both the determination to create the EU “defence identity” expressly for political – not military – purposes, and the military ineptitude.
President Macron, who resents the influence of the Anglosphere, clearly wants the EU to be designated as the European arm of Nato, which would sideline Britain (still, despite all, the most powerful military force in Europe); give succour to those in the United States who resent the disproportionate contribution made by their country’s taxpayers to the security of Europe when America is looking to its west; undermine the value of Five Eyes intelligence sharing; and profoundly weaken the alliance just as it faces its most serious challenges for 30 years. Who knows what mad response the Wagner Group’s actions will provoke from Vladimir Putin?
That distinguished Falklands commander, Major-General Julian Thompson, is absolutely right: the EU is trying to edge Britain out of the defence of Europe and must be resisted with all the diplomatic might we can muster.
Sir Gerald Howarth