Ukraine Is Winning The War And Russia Has Lost 25,000 Troops, Says Defence Secretary

Ben Wallace also compared the situation in Ukraine to the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.
A fireman sits among the rubble of the shopping mall targeted by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine.
A fireman sits among the rubble of the shopping mall targeted by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukraine is winning the war and Russia has lost 25,000 troops since the invasion began, the defence secretary has insisted.

Ben Wallace also compared Moscow’s aggression to the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 as he insisted the UK must maintain its support for the government in Kyiv.

His comments came as NATO leaders gather in Madrid amid fresh calls for the West to increase its spending on defence to meet the threat posed by Vladimir Putin.

Speaking to LBC, Wallace said: “I would still say the Ukrainians are winning. They are extracting huge amounts of cost from the Russian armed forces.

“Twenty five thousand Russians, we think, have been killed in that fight in the space of 112, 115 days. Russia has failed on all its major objectives.

“It is now reduced to a grinding advance – a few hundred metres every few days at massive cost in one small part of eastern Ukraine along two or three axes. That is not a victory in anyone’s book.”

Meanwhile, the defence secretary also piled fresh pressure on Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to increase the armed forces budget.

Wallace said that while he had enough money for this year and next, the Treasury will need to come up with more cash for the Ministry of Defence from 2024.

He told Sky News: “If Britain wants to maintain its leadership role post-2024 we’re going to have to see greater investment.”

Wallace added: “The key for me as defence secretary is to make sure that the government appetite for using its defence forces is matched by the resources put in place.

“I’m just really keen that we recognise that my [budget] settlement was done before Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Russia is very, very dangerous now on the world stage. The world is less secure than it was two or three years ago and that is not looking likely to change for the next decade.

“I want some momentum in the middle of the decade to say we should commit to increased funding.”

Asked how much extra money he would like, Wallace replied: “Well, how long is a piece of string?”

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