Ukraine is winning the war with Russia: Leon Panetta

FILE – People queuing up hold plastic bottles to refill drinking water from a tank in the center of Mykolaiv, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. As milestones go, the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is both grim and vexing. It marks a full year of killing, destruction, loss and pain felt even beyond the borders of Russia and Ukraine. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)

(NewsNation) — Ukraine is winning the war with Russia, as it’s been able to stop the other country’s offensives, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told “NewsNation Live’s” Marni Hughes Tuesday.

But Russia is not going to back down anytime soon, he added.

“When it comes to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, I think both reckless and calculating fit,” Panetta said. “And he clearly is doubling down.”

In only a couple of days, it will be a year since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, thousands have died and even more have fled their homes as war rages on.

Right now, Panetta said, it is a “critical time” in the war, where Russia will try new tactics to take charge.

“It is critical for Ukraine to be able to maintain the momentum that it’s gained over this last year,” Panetta said.

On Tuesday, Putin gave a state-of-the-nation address during which he declared Russia is suspending its participation in the New START treaty — which is the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the United States.

“It isn’t a surprise that they would back away from this treaty. It only means that the situation in the world is more dangerous,” Panetta said. “Rather than being able to restrain the use of nuclear weapons, any agreements to try to put some control on nuclear weapons are now out the window. And so we’re living at a time when, frankly, the risks of some kind of nuclear conflict continue to grow.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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