Ukraine has displayed "incredible ingenuity" in the war against Russia, according to the Chief of the Defence Staff as he compared the conflict to David and Goliath.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Ukraine had recovered more than 50% of the territory that Russia first gained in the invasion, labelling Moscow "a diminishing power on a diminishing path".
Speaking at the Defence and Security Equipment International trade exhibition, he said the Ukrainian counter-offensive had advanced up to 20km in the south, while keeping Russian forces pinned down in the north.
"There is incredible ingenuity, and Russia is on the back foot. It's lost nearly 300,000 people killed and wounded, and it's lost thousands of tanks," he explained.
"It's lost its authority in the world. It's a diminishing power on a diminishing path. Nato is stronger and our resolve remains the same. And that’s what you’re seeing playing out."
In an interview with the defence editor of the Evening Standard, Robert Fox, Admiral Sir Tony said the conflict in Ukraine was messy, ugly and unpredictable.
"The idea that this war is somehow neat and tidy, and you can predict it and plan it to the ninth degree is a nonsense," he said.
The Chief of the Defence Staff said the UK had learned "massive lessons" from the ongoing conflict, emphasising the role technology was playing.
"Technology is really important, and we need to embrace that and we need to take more risks and have the avenues to bring it to us more quickly," he said.
"We’ve talked about drones for years - they’re here. There are tens of thousands of drones in Ukraine, and they’re really significant on the battlefield."
Defence budget and China
Admiral Sir Tony also alluded to the current debate around the defence budget, saying the Armed Forces needed to use the money they have been given to the best of their ability.
"I think for those of us who are the senior military leaders and the senior civil servants, there's a bigger responsibility both to the people that we lead and the country that we serve," he said.
"We take the money that we've got, and we try to make that as impactful as possible to keep our nation safe and to support our nation's prosperity."
Given the present strained relations with China after a parliamentary researcher was arrested on suspicion of being a Chinese spy, Admiral Sir Tony defined China as a "systemic competitor", while he categorised Russia as an "acute threat".
He also spoke about the UK's global function, commenting: "Our role is to maintain security and stability everywhere."
Admiral Sir Tony has served in several command and staff positions, and has been involved in Nato operations in the Adriatic and three tours of Iraq.