Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Putin is 'not going to stop' and war could last another year, Ben Wallace warns

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The conflict in Ukraine could last another year, the Defence Secretary has warned.

Tomorrow, February 24, marks a year since Russian troops invaded.

Ben Wallace, asked whether we could see the war lingering on in another 12 months, told LBC: ‘I think we will.

‘I think Russia has shown a complete disregard, not only for the lives of the people of Ukraine, but for its own soldiers.

‘We are sitting here 12 months in and 188,000, actually more now, Russian soldiers are dead or injured as a result of this catastrophic miscalculation and aggression by President Putin.

‘When someone has crossed the line and thinks it is OK to do that to your own people, running effectively a meat grinder for an army, I think he is not going to stop.’

Mr Wallace added that planes currently held by Nato countries could be given to Ukraine as the conflict continues.

The Defence Secretary stressed the battle in Ukraine was ‘not a Nato conflict’.

But, asked on LBC whether Nato-supplied fighter jets could be sent to Kyiv, he said: ‘Supplied by Nato, yes.

‘There is already talk, I think, of an eastern European country supplying MiG-29s.

‘We’re not going to see Nato, we’re going to see countries that are members of Nato potentially put in air force equipment or MiG-29.’

This week, Putin made an appearance in Moscow and gave a speech that showed no signs of halting the invasion.

He claimed he ‘didn’t start the war’ in a rambling address that lasted near to two hours.

A selection of cabinet minsters, deputies and senators were all in attendance as the address is broadcast across the world.

Putin referred to the war as a ‘special military operation’ and referred to the situation in Ukraine as a ‘military coup’.

He claimed Ukrainians have been waiting for his troops to ‘come to their help’ and that the West released a ‘genie in a bottle.’

Putin said: ‘They started the war and we used the force to stop it.”

‘They spent $150bn to support militarily Kyiv’s regime.’

He went on to tell the audience each Russian has a ‘great responsibility’ to ‘protect our people on our historic land.’

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