“Our opinion is that Russia aims to conquer the entirety of Ukraine,” says the UK Defense Secretary.
Russia aspires to take over all of Ukraine, according to UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, although it has failed to meet its key objectives.
“We believe the Russians plan to conquer the entire country of Ukraine,” Wallace told Sky News on Friday.
“As of this morning, our opinion is that Russia has not achieved any of its primary objectives. In reality, it has fallen behind its optimistic schedule. Over 450 people have died as a result of the attack.
“Contrary to Russian assertions, and certainly President (Vladimir) Putin’s vision that the Ukrainians would be emancipated and flock to his cause, he’s utterly incorrect.” And the Russian army failed to achieve its major goal on the first day.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called the Russian incursion “barbaric” on her official Twitter account.
“Putin’s aggression on Ukraine is cruel, unjustifiable, and demonstrates a callous disrespect for human life.” Truss tweeted, “We will continue to hold Putin accountable and stay strong in our support,” reiterating the UK’s sympathy with Ukraine.
Biden slaps more penalties on Russia, saying, “Putin chose this conflict.”
President Joe Biden announced harsh new sanctions on Russia on Thursday, aimed at punishing the country for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, while also criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggression. However, Biden acknowledged that the new sanctions would take time to change Putin’s behavior.
“Putin is the aggressor in this situation. Putin selected this conflict. And now he and his nation will pay the price,” Biden warned, outlining a series of steps that will “impose substantial costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.””
The latest penalties include technology export bans, a key component of Biden’s strategy, which he claims would severely hinder Russia’s capacity to progress its military and aerospace industries. Sanctions were also imposed on Russian banks and “corrupt millionaires” and their families with ties to the Kremlin.
Biden reiterated that his threat to personally censure Putin remained “on the table” and is “not a bluff,” but he did not respond when asked why he hasn’t done so yet.
“I didn’t say sanctions couldn’t stop him,” Biden said when asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins what might stop Putin if sanctions couldn’t.
“The fear of sanctions… implementing sanctions and observing the sanctions’ effect are two different things,” Biden added. “He’ll start to feel the impact of the sanctions.”
The latest restrictions aren’t just aimed at Russia. Individuals in Belarus, including the country’s defense minister, were also targeted by the US for their participation in assisting the Russian strike.
Biden also promised a fresh ground and air force commitment to NATO’s eastern flank, while reiterating that US soldiers would not participate in direct war in Ukraine.
“Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the battle,” he stated from the White House East Room, speaking to the country for the first time since the Russian strike began late Wednesday. “Our soldiers are heading to Europe to defend and reassure our NATO friends in the east, not to fight in Ukraine.”