Russia ‘built itself a trap’ in Ukraine and are ‘getting desperate’, Ben ...
Independent

Ben Wallace has brutally savaged Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the defence secretary laid into the Russian leader and said he "diminishes" his country as a "spent force in the world".

He said:

“Whatever we think about President Putin, he is done. He is a spent force in the world. No one will be taking his phone calls in the long term.

“He has exhausted his army, he is responsible for thousands of Russian soldiers being killed, responsible for innocent people being killed, civilians being killed in Ukraine. He is reducing his economy to zero, because the international community has decided that is absolutely unacceptable, what he’s done.

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“So he is a spent force in the world and I don’t know whether he thinks that’s a clever thing to be, but that diminishes his own country in the world and he has to take responsibility for that.”

“This will be Putin’s end, this country, and so it should be, because of not only their spirit and their moral purpose on their side, the Ukrainians, but also because it will be an impossible task to occupy such a people in a country.”

It comes on day 13 of Russia's invasion. Ukrainian president Zelensky will address UK MPs on Tuesday via videolink and is expected to plead for more arms and a no-fly zone over Ukraine to be enforced by Nato. Meanwhile, some 1.7 million Ukrainians are thought to have fled the fighting and the total could reach 5 million, the EU said.

Speaking to Sky News, the defence secretary continued with his harsh rhetoric and said Russia was "desperate" and having "real logistic problems".

“It’s not going particularly well for the Russians — it’s day 13. Way off their timetable,” he said.

"Russia has built itself a trap. It’s sent itself in with the international community united against them and we see the devastation they are leaving behind."

Elsewhere on his media round, Wallace admitted that the process of admitting Ukrainian refugees into the UK has "not been quick enough" and said that he had been assured that changes to the visa system will be made.

The UK has taken 300 refugees so far and numerous campaigners and organisations are calling on the government to do more.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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