Derek Little, 87, admitted people who label ‘nutter’ Vladimir Putin ‘another Adolf Hitler are not far wrong’ as the Russian president continues to inflict misery, destruction and death on Ukraine with his horrific invasion.
The attack has plunged Europe into a crisis arguably not seen since the beginning of the fateful Second World War in 1939.
Derek, of Milton, was aged just six at the time of the most devastating Blitz attacks on the city on January 10-11, 1941.
Despite his early years, the memories of the most brutal of the lightning attacks on Portsmouth remain imprinted on his mind.
During the Nazi onslaught, which saw thousands of bombs dropped between 5pm on January 10, 1941, and into the early hours of January 11, large parts of the city were transformed into ‘smoking ruins’.
The blitzkrieg attack saw 172 people killed and hundreds more injured or made homeless during the city’s darkest hour.
Derek, recalling the attack on the 80th anniversary, said: ‘I can still see it now… we ran for our lives after air sirens started to sound. We made a beeline for the basement shelter in our house, which we thought was safe but it wasn’t.
‘The bomb blew the pub next door into bits killing six people. We would have been blown to bits too if he had hit us.
‘Most of our house was ruined and all we could see was rubble and bits of wood. My mum, dad and us five kids were all frightened to death. I am grateful to still be here.’
Now in 2022, with WW2 a lifetime ago, suddenly the previously unthinkable prospect of a Third World War has emerged after Putin’s shocking invasion.
Derek, speaking of the predicament the world suddenly finds itself, said: ‘What these (Russian) people are doing is what Hitler did. Some people call Putin another Hitler – and they are not far wrong. Hitler got away with it and set up concentration camps. There are definite similarities.
‘Is Putin after a Third World War? Russia is a big and powerful country. The only one that can tackle him is the United States. No one else has got any chance.
‘We’ve got nuclear weapons but we’re not going to use them. He (Putin) could be a nutter who would use them. There is something wrong with him.
‘Russia is massive in itself. Who knows why they would want Ukraine back.’
He added: ‘It might end up as a Third World War.’
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Derek is also worried about the Russian fallout with energy prices ‘already sky high’.
He said: ‘I don’t know if I can afford the bills already. It is ridiculous. It’s definitely going to get worse.
‘I always thought there would be trouble one day with supplies from Russia. This country needs to be more self-sufficient.’