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Politics latest news: Sadiq Khan backs ‘best friend’ Rayner over council house police


Vladimir Putin is now “more powerful than Stalin” and the West is “largely in denial” about the scale of Russia’s shift to being on a war footing, a former defence minister said this morning. 

Tobias Ellwood, a senior Tory MP, told Sky News that the West “must prepare better” so it can face down the Russian threat.

“Our adversaries, including Russia, particularly Russia, are moving their economies, their industries, to a war footing but the West is largely in denial,” he said. 

“Putin is now the most powerful leader in Europe. He has removed all of his opposition voices, he has pivoted his entire economy away from Europe to China and Iran and he is now more powerful than Stalin. 

“In plain sight, his goal is to emulate his hero Stalin by reasserting his influence over eastern Europe, not to replicate the old Soviet Union but the old Russian empire.

“So we must prepare better, we must support Ukraine better, we simply cannot ignore the growing schism between those who respect global order and those who largely ignore it.”  



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