The war in Ukraine can get worse for both Russia and Putin.

Petraeus said that his losses on the battlefield are going to continue and that Russia's losses have been staggering.

He pointed to the West's reaction to Putin's annexation of four regions of Ukraine, which make up 15% of the country's territory. After sham referendums were held in the Russian-occupied regions, Putin declared.

Russia was hit with 1,000 more individual personal and other sanctions by the West in response to the annexation. The retired general was talking about the new sanctions on Russia. Russian lawmakers and companies are targets of the sanctions.

It can get worse for Putin. The use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield will not change this.

The threat of nuclear force from Putin needs to be taken seriously, he said.

In a radio interview with New York businessman John Catsimatidis, Petraeus said he thought Putin was in a "very dire" and "irreversibly desperate" situation.

Petraeus told Catsimatidis that the current state of Russia's military is worse than that of Ukraine.

After retiring from the military in August of 2011, Petraeus became the director of the CIA. After an FBI investigation uncovered his extramarital affair with his biographer, he resigned from his position. He is a partner at the KKR Global Institute.