Russia Unlikely to Succeed in Occupying Ukraine: UK Defence Chief

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to succeed in occupying Ukraine, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said.

Speaking at a conference in Copenhagen on Aug. 11, Wallace said it is important to understand that fighting and loss of life was still taking place, but added Russia was “starting to fail in many areas.”

“They have failed so far and are unlikely to ever succeed in occupying Ukraine,” he said.

“Their invasion has faltered and constantly been remodified to the extent they are really only focusing in parts of the south and in the east, a long, long way away from their three-day so-called special operation. Three days are now over 150 days and nearly six months in, with huge significant losses of both equipment and indeed Russian personnel.”

Epoch Times Photo
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arrives to attend the government weekly cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, on March 8, 2022. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Continued Support

The defence secretary said Putin had gambled that the Western allies might have “all got bored of the conflict” and the coalition would have started to fracture within a few months.

But he said the continued commitment expressed by the allies at the Copenhagen Conference have proved the opposite.

At the conference, the UK and its key allies agreed to expand the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU) to finance military training and equipment for Ukraine.

Britain has pledged to put £250 million ($303 million) into the fund. Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands have all announced they will be supporting the programme.

Wallace said: “We have come out of this meeting with more pledges of finance, more pledges of training, and more pledges of military aid, all designed to help Ukraine win, to help Ukraine stand up for its sovereignty, and indeed to ensure that President Putin’s ambitions fail in Ukraine as they rightly should.”

Depleting Stock

The defence chief said the allies will soon need to start buying weapons from other countries or placing orders to arms manufacturers as reserve stocks are depleted.

He said the Ukrainian armed forces will need “many more” weapons in the “next few months and years,” adding the new fund would allow allies to “buy from wherever there is capacity.”

The UK Ministry of Defence earlier confirmed it would send more weapons to Ukraine, including multiple-launch rocket systems, as well as precision-guided missiles which can strike targets up to 50 miles away, designed to defend against Russian heavy artillery.

Ukrainian troops have been trained in the UK on how to use the launchers, and the UK has also committed to training 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in infantry battlefield skills over the coming months.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Zhang

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