DAILY MAIL COMMENT: West must stand up to Putin's nuclear threat

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: West must stand up to Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat

When in trouble, tyrants cannot admit any weakness for fear it would undermine their authority and trigger the rapid downfall of their regime.

By planning to throw 300,000 Russian reservists into battle as cannon fodder, however, Vladimir Putin has given away the fact that he knows he is losing the war he hubristically started in Ukraine.

The despot’s unhinged threat to launch nuclear weapons against the West for arming Ukraine’s heroic resistance also reveals his humiliation at the failed invasion. ‘I’m not bluffing,’ he snarled in a rambling speech.

Vladimir Putin has given away the fact that he knows he is losing the war he hubristically started in Ukraine

This military debacle has killed Putin’s credibility, along with his reputation as a master strategist – not to mention the countless young men sent to wage what was supposed to be a swift war.

True, the reservists will bolster Russia’s depleted and demoralised forces. But they’ll need extra training and weapons, and won’t relish the prospect of spending a cold winter facing slaughter. And for what? To satisfy Putin’s pride.

The Ukrainians, on the other hand, are well armed and confident after inflicting a series of crushing defeats. And they have powerful motivations to fight to the death: Their country, families and friends.

The more Russian soldiers return home in coffins, the more obvious Putin’s folly will become to his people. Perhaps then they will rise against the Kremlin.

Of course, the West must take seriously his threat of a nuclear strike. While highly unlikely he would press the button, it’s not impossible. Who knows what the deranged dictator might do in desperation?

There is, however, no alternative for the democratic world but to stand firm in the face of his sabre-rattling.

Liz Truss is right to promise that Britain will next year at least match the £2.3billion it has already committed to Ukraine’s war effort. All our Nato allies must show similar resolve to the Prime Minister. After Ukraine’s recent stunning battlefield successes, it is vital they help this courageous nation by sending more and better weapons.

That is the best way to hasten the end of the bloody conflict – and bring about Putin’s much-deserved demise.

A diagnosis for GPs?

Once upon a time, a sick patient getting an immediate appointment with their family doctor would have been utterly unremarkable. Today, it is practically a cause for celebration.

So the Mail welcomes Health Secretary Therese Coffey’s ambitious blueprint to halt the scandalous decline in the number of people able to see a GP in person.

She will demand non-urgent cases are seen within two weeks. Practices that fail to deliver will be named and shamed.

In return, surgeries will get help reducing red tape – freeing up more time for patients.

It is imperative these initiatives are delivered. But frustratingly often, they never come to fruition.

Patients desperately need tangible solutions to the sickness affecting primary care. Not just more ministerial hot air.

Energising business

With its roots in traditional Toryism, this newspaper would normally balk at government bailouts for private firms.

But we applaud Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg for putting together a huge support package to help companies struggling to pay energy bills which have spiralled after Russia’s war in Ukraine.

If radical action had not been taken, many profitable businesses would have gone to the wall, throwing countless workers on to the dole – bumping up the benefits bill and hitting the public finances harder.

By surviving, they can benefit from Miss Truss’s bold tax-cutting agenda – and help turbocharge Britain’s economic recovery.

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