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Blitz Russian heartlands, arm the people & pump in weapons…general reveals what’s needed NOW for Ukraine to smash Putin

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HITTING Russian heartlands, more troops and a steady flow of Western weapons are key to Ukraine winning the war against Putin, a former British general has said.

Sir Richard Barrons told The Sun’s World at War show that there are three major ways Kyiv can decisively defeat Moscow’s forces in the “next year”.

Sir Richard Barrons said that Ukraine must be able to strike Russian soil with Western-supplied weapons

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Sir Richard Barrons said that Ukraine must be able to strike Russian soil with Western-supplied weaponsCredit: The Sun
The retired Joint Forces chief also said it is essential that Kyiv mobilises more men abd better trains them for a future offensive

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The retired Joint Forces chief also said it is essential that Kyiv mobilises more men abd better trains them for a future offensiveCredit: The Sun
Russia is quickly advancing in the Kharkiv region as Ukraine runs out of reserve troops to counter the attacks

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Russia is quickly advancing in the Kharkiv region as Ukraine runs out of reserve troops to counter the attacks
Ukraine said Russia was throwing its troops into meatgrinder assaults to overwhelm Kyiv's forces on the northeast front

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Ukraine said Russia was throwing its troops into meatgrinder assaults to overwhelm Kyiv’s forces on the northeast front

The former Joint Forces chief said that if he was in charge of Ukraine’s army the first thing he would be doing was “demanding, not asking” to fire Western weapons at Russian military targets.

It comes as Putin has massed more than half a million troops on the frontline in a bid to overpower Kyiv’s stretched defences and battle-weary troops.

However, Ukraine cannot blitz Russian forces just over the border because the US has forbidden it from using its weapons on enemy territory.

General Barrons fundamentally disagreed with America’s objections to such strikes.

“Russian forces [gather] at leisure just 30 miles from places like Kharkiv,” he told The Sun’s World at War show which you can watch on The Sun’s YouTube channel and thesun.co.uk.

“And that is an unfair advantage,” he added.

US weapons like HIMARS rocket systems are “the only weapons that will break up Russian forces as they organise themselves for an offence,” he said.

Barrons comments follow Foreign Secretary David Cameron last week stating Ukraine has the right to strike inside Russia – an announcement that sparked furious threats from the Kremlin.

Ukraine has so far only been using its homegrown weapons to strike energy infrastructure, railways and airfields deep into Russian territory.

But Barrons accused the US of insisting Ukraine pull back on these attacks over fears of oil prices going up in an election year.

He slammed this policy as “no way to fight a war”.

Ukraine troops fighting ‘fierce battles’ against Vlad’s invading forces in Kharkiv as thousands flee homes amid barrage

MANPOWER

The retired army general said the next thing Ukraine must do is sort out its manpower issues as the war drags further into its third year.

He argued: “It must have more soldiers. It’s got to get a move on with mobilising more of its own citizens and training them to fight. But that isn’t something you can fix in weeks.”

It comes as Ukraine’s generals have warned they have run out of reserves to halt the new Russian offensive in Kharkiv that has already seized miles of ground in their fastest advances in months.

General Kyrylo Budanov, boss of Kyiv’s military intelligence said: “I’ve used everything we have. Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone else in the reserves.”

Barrons slammed the US for telling Ukraine not to strike Russian energy infrastructure as it was 'no way to win a war'

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Barrons slammed the US for telling Ukraine not to strike Russian energy infrastructure as it was ‘no way to win a war’Credit: Getty
Firefighters are seen working to put off fire on a residential area of Kharkiv on Tuesday

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Firefighters are seen working to put off fire on a residential area of Kharkiv on TuesdayCredit: Getty

Barrons said it is urgent that Ukraine fortifies its frontline with troops and “sustains its will to fight”.

“Nobody else is going to send their sons and daughters to fight for them. They’ve got to find more people.”

However, Barrons argued proper training was essential to prepare Ukraine to launch a major offensive by “next year” or by “by 2026” to achieve a decisive victory.

“Otherwise this war will stabilise about where it is now.”

‘BALANCE OF WEAPONS’

Yet even with thousands of new troops, Barrons said: “Without weapons and ammunition there isn’t a fight to be had.”

The troops must be properly equipped, Barrons argued, and supported by sufficient firepower to break through Russia’s “formidable” defences.

Analysts say the new Russian onslaught in the east is designed to exploit ammunition shortages before promised Western weapons shipments can reach the frontline.

In terms of the weapons needed to fight back, Barrons said it is foolish to hope for some kind of “magic new weapon that changes everything on the battlefield.”

Instead, he said that forces need weapons “in balance and in strength”.

Barrons believes that when the Western-supplies F-16s finally arrive or new glide bombs they will make a difference, but they will only be part of changing the tides of war into Ukraine’s favour.

The ex-general passionately argued Western support must remain strong – but warned against just narrowly thinking about just what Ukraine needs “to hold the line”.

“We need to recognise that if we don’t do that and Ukraine crumbles, then the war comes to Europe.

“And it is madness trying to fight a war for some sort of score draw. You have to go all in and win on your own terms.”

Latest on the war in Ukraine

RUSSIA has amassed half a million troops and tanks and launched a major new ground offensive on northeastern Ukraine on Friday, seizing miles on ground quickly.

The blitz, said to be the first stage of Russia’s summer offensive, is designed to stretch Ukraine’s already outnumbered defenders.

Moscow has claimed its forces had pushed deeper into the Kharkiv region and captured the symbolic town of Robotyne – one of the only prizes of Ukraine’s muted summer counteroffensive.

Kyiv said the Russian push appeared to have run out of steam last night — but, in the face of Putin’s 500,000-strong force, warned that could change quickly.

It also said Russia has suffered record losses with 1,740 reportedly killed in a single day over the weekend as its troops are thrown into the meatgrinder assaults.

UK defence secretary Grant Shapps said the world is taking its “eye off the ball” after the recent Russian attacks.

Thousands of Ukrainian people have also fled their homes to escape Russia’s aerial bombardment.

As children have been seen going to school in underground, missile proof bunkers in the heart of war-torn Ukraine.

Russia stepped up attacks on Kharkiv region in March targeting energy infrastructure and settlements with constant airstrikes in what analysts predicted were preparations for a new offensive.

The city of Kharkiv, located on the eastern front only 30 miles from the Russian border, was the prime target of Russia’s aerial bombardment.

Its mayor had warned the West that it risked being turned into a “second Aleppo” – the Syrian city which heavy Russian bombing helped to decimate a decade ago.

President Zelensky has now cancelled all foreign visits and his commanders say that Ukraine has run out of reserve troops

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President Zelensky has now cancelled all foreign visits and his commanders say that Ukraine has run out of reserve troops
US General Mark Milley had said in May: 'We asked Ukraine not to use US-supplied equipment for direct attacks into Russia'

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US General Mark Milley had said in May: ‘We asked Ukraine not to use US-supplied equipment for direct attacks into Russia’

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