Ex-NATO commander says Putin knows he made a ‘serious mistake’ by invading Ukraine but will never admit it.

In the background, Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown looking down and touching his nose during a military salute.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts during the Navy Day Parade on July 31, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Russia.Contributor/Getty Images

  • Putin may have realized he made a mistake by invading Ukraine, a former NATO leader said.

  • “I think he knows it in his heart, he’ll never admit it publicly,” James G. Stavrides said.

  • Stavridis said Russia was “blowing up” military capability and could not sustain it.

Former NATO chief James Stavridis said Russian President Vladimir Putin regrets attacking Ukraine but will never admit it.

Stavridis, who was NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe from 2009 to 2013, spoke about the attack on a radio show on Saturday.

Stavridis was a guest on “The Cats Round Table” on WABC New York, a show hosted by grocery store billionaire John Catsmatidis, who also owns WABC.

Asked if Putin knew the invasion of Ukraine was a mistake, Stavrides said: “I think that when he wakes up in the dark, in the silence at two o’clock in the morning, he realizes that he made a mistake. . Publicly, they never will. Admit it. Never.”

Stavridis said Putin would perpetuate the “myth” that neo-Nazis run Ukraine and were forced into the conflict by NATO rather than choosing to attack.

But, he said, Putin knows he is responsible for the invasion, the sanctions and the military push.

“I think he knows it in his heart, he’ll never admit it publicly,” she said.

According to Stavridi, Putin is “burning with potential” in Russia’s military.

“I would say, six months from now, he will be in a very serious situation,” Stavrides said, at which point he speculated that negotiations could begin.

According to the Pentagon, Russia has suffered more than 80,000 casualties. In the interview, Stavridis put the number closer to 70,000 dead and wounded.

His comments came as reports highlighted Russia’s apparently desperate tactics to fill its ranks, offering freedom to prisoners who join as well as to others who join. Substantial cash bonuses are also included.

The Insider previously reported that Western sanctions against Russia have also taken their toll, sending its economy back to 2018 levels.

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