West Will Send More Tanks And Planes To Ukraine To Halt Growing Russian Brutality – UK Double Down On Putin

Planes, more tanks and other military equipment will be sent by the West to Ukraine in response to growing brutality by Russian president Vladimir Putin, Britain warned on Thursday.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also became the second Cabinet minister to say Mr Putin’s forces should be pushed out of annexed Crimea.

However, he also stated that “first and foremost” they needed to be driven from the territory in Ukraine that they had seized more recently.

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Mr Putin’s troops have already committed appalling war crimes in Ukraine, according to reports, including executions of civilians, with mass graves being found, and raping women.

United Nations secretary-general António Guterres toured sites around Kyiv that were occupied by Russian troops for several weeks, including the site of a mass grave in Bucha. He said: “The war is an absurdity in the 21st century — the war is evil.”

As Britain, America and other allies step up the supply of military equipment to Ukraine, Mr Wallace told Times Radio: “It’s important to link Russian behaviour with the response. If they do horrendous things, they must recognise that there will be an increase in weapons to the Ukrainians to see them off.”

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He added: “If Russia continues to bomb indiscriminately people from the air — look what it has done in Mariupol, for example — destroyed the city, then of course the West will respond more to Ukrainian requests for self-defence, and sometimes that will include planes and tanks.”

He said Britain will not provide planes, but it would have supported Poland in sending MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.

He added the long-range Brimstone missiles the UK is sending to Ukraine “will be used over the ground” but added that Britain is also examining an anti-ship missile solution.

Mr Wallace reinforced Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’s view that Russian forces must be pushed out of “the whole of Ukraine”, saying that Britain would support Ukrainians in “both diplomatic efforts or military efforts”.

Asked if the UK would help Ukraine win back its territory, the Defence Secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re prepared to help Ukraine stand by its sovereignty and defend itself, however long that may take.

“There is no difference in the position of the United Kingdom since 2014, which is when Ukraine as a sovereign nation was invaded both in Crimea… and Donetsk. That needs to stop, that needs to be reversed.”

He emphasised that after the failure of Mr Putin’s invasion plans so far, he may seek to “fortify and dig in as he did in 2014, and just be a cancerous growth in the country of Ukraine”.

Russia was stepping up its assaults on eastern and southern Ukraine, Kyiv said, as Mr Putin threatened “lightning-fast” retaliation against any Western countries that intervened on Ukraine’s behalf.

Mr Wallace stressed that Britain and other countries would not be intimidated.

More than two months into the Russian invasion it has mounted a push to seize the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in the Donbas region in a battle the West views as a decisive turning point in the war.

“The enemy is increasing the pace of the offensive operation. The Russian occupiers are exerting intense fire in almost all directions,” Ukraine’s military command said of the situation on the main front in the east.

It said Russia’s main attack was near the towns of Slobozhanske and Donets, along a strategic highway linking Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv with the Russian-occupied city of Izyum.

Photo Credit: Getty

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