Russia is “losing slowly” in its ongoing war in Ukraine, the conflict with Ukraine, according to UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
Mr. Wallace made the remarks during a visit with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to meet Ukrainian soldiers who are undergoing Interflex training at the Lydd Army Camp in the English county of Kent.
He said that with winter just around the corner, Britain would be increasing its support for Ukrainian soldiers, including delivery of an additional 12,000 sleeping kits for the chilly weather.
Speaking about the delivery ahead of the visit, Ben Wallace said
“It demonstrates our commitment to making sure that the basic Ukrainian soldier is well trained, well equipped and given the best possible chance to fight and determine their own future.”
Russia issued an order on Wednesday, Nov. 9 for its military to leave Kherson, the only regional capital it had taken control of since the invasion began in February.
In the face of a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive, the retreat is a major setback to Moscow.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg agreed with Ben Wallace’s assessment, saying that when Russia invaded Ukraine, Vladimir Putin made “several huge mistakes.”
During a visit to Downing Street, he said:
“One was to underestimate the Ukrainians – their courage, their commitment to fight and protect their country.”
“The other mistake he made was to underestimate NATO allies, partners, in our ability to support Ukraine”, a move undertaken by the military alliance “for as long as it takes”.
The initiative to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Russia’s war is called Operation Interflex, which is led by the UK.
Mr. Wallace told soldiers he met that Britain would continue to support Kyiv and would not be discouraged by concerns over Russian retaliation.
“Of course, Russia doesn’t like the fact the United Kingdom is standing up against it – we’re standing up for the values of freedom, democracy and human rights, but that isn’t going to put us off,” he underlined.
Mr. Wallace responded that he would take each budget “as it comes” when questioned if he would continue in his position and his stance on Ukraine if newly-appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak dropped the government’s 3 percent NATO spending target.