BRITISH ARMED FORCES have been told to prepare for war in Europe and be “ready to fight” as Russia continues to escalate its assault on Ukraine.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the war between Ukraine and Russia could go on for years. Speaking this weekend, he said: “We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine. “Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices.” Russia is continuing to attack the east of Ukraine and has made significant progress in the region having initially faltered in the early days of the war.
The escalations have led to grave warnings for Britons, as soldiers are told they may have to prepare to fight in Europe again.
Newly appointed head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, made the comments last week.
And now, former chief of the general staff Lord Dannatt has agreed with him.
He told Times Radio: “Patrick Sanders is not wrong, this comes back to our earlier point that this is going to be a long conflict.
“Russia mustn’t win, but Ukraine must not lose on behalf of all of the West.
“Our Government has got to get this message as well, in recent years in terms of defence spending, the army has taken the lowest priority.
“We’ve now been given a wake up call with a brutal land war in Europe, and given Ukraine is going to struggle, we have to expect this conflict to continue for quite some time.
“I hope this doesn’t become a hot war elsewhere in Europe, but the way we are going to deter Russia is by having a capable military that is forward deployed, that is strong and will make Russia realise that they can’t bully as they tried to do in Ukraine.
“Patrick Sanders is right to send a battle cry to the army, but that has to be heard by the Government.
“We have got to be prepared to face down Russia from a position of strength, not just a war of words.”
“We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”
General Sanders added: “I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underlines our core purpose — to protect the UK by being ready to fight and win wars on land.”
Last week, European leaders travelled to Kyiv in a show of solidarity with Ukraine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were among those present.
Mr Johnson reaffirmed Britain’s support for Ukraine, cautioning against “Ukraine fatigue” as Russia’s invasion reaches five months.