Vladimir Putin Made 'Strategic Mistake' as Ukraine War Could Drag on For Years—U.K.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Russia's Vladimir Putin made a "strategic mistake" by invading Ukraine and that the war could be the "beginning of the end" for him.

In an appearance on the Trevor Phillips On Sunday show, Truss said the conflict could go on for "a number of years."

"We said before this invasion took place that Vladimir Putin would be making a massive strategic mistake," she said. "First of all, because the Ukrainians would fight. We're seeing them fight, we're seeing the incredibly brave leadership of President Zelenskyy, but also because they will be hit by severe Western sanctions."

But she warned that the sanctions imposed on Moscow "will take time to have an effect and debilitate the Russian economy."

And the conflict could continue for "a number of years because what we do know is Russia has strong forces," Truss said.

"But we know that the Ukrainians are brave, that they're determined to stand up for their sovereignty and territorial integrity, and they're determined to fight."

In the interview, Truss also said she feared that the fighting in Ukraine could be "very, very bloody" amid concerns that Russia could deploy thermobaric weapons against Ukraine.

"We've already seen the response from the Russian government, we've seen the actions taken despite all the warnings about the severe cost of this conflict, in terms of humanitarian costs, in terms of costs for the Russian state," she said.

"This could well be the beginning of the end for Putin and I fear that he is determined to use the most unsavory means in this war.

"But he should be aware that the International Criminal Court is already looking at what is happening in Ukraine and there will be serious consequences for him personally and for the Russian government."

She urged Russia not to escalate this conflict, but said "we do need to be prepared for Russia to seek to use even worse weapons."

"We need to avoid this at all costs. This is why it is so important, the work we're doing to degrade the Russian military complex. We're stopping the export of technologies to Russia. We are stopping the ability of those military companies to raise money in the international markets. We're cutting off the SWIFT system from Russia. It's precisely so that they cannot fund this war machine anymore."

Update 2/27/22, 6:40 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information.

Vladimir Putin makes strategic mistake in Ukraine
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has made a "strategic mistake" in invading Ukraine, according to Britain's foreign secretary. Getty Images