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Putin must be stopped by his own people, says ex-US Marine returning to war-torn Kyiv | World | News

Ukrainians have proven they will never surrender, a former US marine who lives in the country has said, while warning Vladimir Putin will nevertheless keep on coming until his own people remove him from power. John Sennett, 57, currently lives in western Ukraine with Belarusian wife Natasha – but, speaking days before Friday’s first anniversary of the , he is already planning to return to the apartment they own in Kyiv.

When Putin ordered troops in, many feared Ukraine would be overrun within days – but the reality proved radically different.

Mr Sennett, who as a former soldier himself has specific insights into the way the conflict has developed, told Express.co.uk: “We were in Kyiv at that point which was the main focus of the attack and once we saw old people going out and standing in front of tanks we were like, ‘Oh, the Russians are gonna get nowhere at this point’.

“Now, of course, there was fear, because we didn’t know what they had in their arsenals, we didn’t know what kind of tactics they were going to use.

“But their tactics became very apparent very quickly, they didn’t even start really hitting us with heavy missiles until six months into the war.”

Mr Sennett witnessed drone and missile attacks while living in Kyiv last year which prompted him, his wife and their dog Philly to relocate temporarily – but they are planning their return in March.

Nevertheless, he freely admitted his worries for the future, given Russia’s longstanding tradition of pouring troops into battle.

He explained: “That’s the concern, I think, for everybody. We know that that for the most part, Russia has lost.

“But just because it looks like they lost to us to a certain extent that, they have a lot of resources that they continue to throw, and every time they throw guys at our guys, the Ukrainians are going to die and property is going to be destroyed and people are going to suffer. The economy is never going to recover and you can’t start rebuilding or anything like that.

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Putin’s fiery speech on Tuesday, during which he blamed the West for the conflict, made it clear he was in no mood to compromise and Mr Sennett likewise saw no prospect of the 70-year-old backing down.

He added: “What it comes down to is: it’s not how long Putin will throw stuff at us, it’s how long are the Russian people put up with it?

“The only way you stop it within Russia is if you get hundreds of thousands of people coming on to the streets to protest together collectively, unless you get 1917 or whatever the Bolshevik Revolution was.

“One hundred people is not going to make a difference, 1,000 people is not going to make a difference, 10,000 people won’t make a difference but 100,000 will.”

Asked how people in Ukraine had adapted since February 24, 2022, Mr Sennett said he had been struck by their sheer resilience.

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He said: “In the UK there is some historical memory from World War 2 but US people can’t get a grip on it whatsoever.

“We just go on with our lives and there’s a lot of black humour going on, a lot of gallows humour, whatever you want to call it.

“And then it depends on where you are spiritually, we’re believers so that helps.”

Asked whether he would be marking the anniversary in any way, Mr Sennett said: “For me, and I think for my wife, it’s a day of remembrance for everybody who’s lost their lives, and everybody who went out on February 24, and stood in front of the tanks and stood to defend their country.

“It’s not a day of anniversary, it’s not a day of celebration, it’s a day to remember the sacrifices that have been made, that’s the way I look at.”



*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.