Ukraine invasion: Russia to get ‘harder, tougher and more indiscriminate’ as Vladimir Putin racks up ‘significant casualties’ – Ben Wallace | Politics News

Russia will get “harder, tougher and more indiscriminate” in its attack on Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s invasion effort lags “considerably” behind schedule, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has warned.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Wallace said the Russian military in Ukraine was “moving very slowly on its objectives” and suffering “significant casualties” as troops continue their assault on major cities.

“While we see some footage today of Kharkiv of Russian forces potentially in the middle of the city, they don’t hold the city,” the defence secretary said.

“It’s a city of 1.4 million people and they are taking casualties, the Russians, and they are finding it very slow going.”

Kherson ‘completely surrounded by Russians’ – follow latest updates

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Missles hits Ukraine government building

Mr Wallace said the initial tactics of Russian forces “weren’t correct” and suggested they had thought they would conquer Ukrainian cities “in a few hours, rather than six days or longer”.

He added that Russia had been “surprised” by the strength and “clever plan” of Ukraine’s resistance, with reports that Ukrainians are using drones to attack Russian petrol and supply lines, as well as blowing up railway lines.

Mr Wallace warned, however, that as the costs of the invasion rack up for Mr Putin, the Russian president was likely to resort to more brutal military tactics.

‘Brutality going to get worse’

“I think the Russians have realised that the Ukrainians, by fighting, are costing them lots and lots of casualties and the Russians have taken significant casualties – far more than they would have planned,” Mr Wallace said.

A reported missile strike in central Kharkiv left cars burnt out and debris strewn across the streets

“What they are therefore doing is trying to switch tactics and what you are seeing now are those heavy bombardments at night.

“They won’t come into the cities as much – they will, I’m afraid as we’ve seen tragically, carpet bomb cities indiscriminately in some cases.

“They will fly their air at night rather than daytime, because what we’ve seen is they get shot down in the daytime.

“And they will slowly but surely try and surround the cities and then either bypass them or bombard them.

“That is the brutality that I’m afraid we are witnessing and it’s going to get worse. I’ve warned before the Russian doctrine is to get harder and tougher and more indiscriminate.”

Key fights across Ukrainian territory

‘How far does the public want us to go against nuclear Russia?’

Mr Wallace once again dismissed calls for the UK and NATO allies to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, warning it would likely lead to “a war against Russia across the whole of Europe” if British fighter jets had to shoot down Russian fighter jets.

He suggested that a wider conflict would also bring the risk of nuclear war.

“The question is how far does Europe want us to get towards a war across Europe with Russia?” he added.

“How far does the British public want us to go against a nuclear-armed power who may view escalation of all means?

“So I think we have to be realistic here.”

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Meet the civilians preparing to ‘stop Putin’

Questions over ‘benefit’ of no-fly zone

Mr Wallace also questioned the “benefit” of a no-fly zone above Ukraine.

“If you had a no-fly zone in Ukraine, the overwhelming scale of the Russian army would be able to drive around with impunity, which it can’t at the moment… without any air attack from the Ukrainians because there would be a no-fly zone,” he said.

Mr Wallace made a comparison with the Battle of Britain in 1940 had there been an “unhelpful suggestion” of a no-fly zone.

“That would have suited the vast German Wehrmacht army, it wouldn’t have suited the UK [army] who had just returned from Dunkirk.”

He added that Ukrainain aircraft and Unmanned Air Vehicles were “causing damage on key parts” of Russia’s supply lines.


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