Deadly Stormer trucks are on their way to the war-ravaged country as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned Vladimir Putin ‘must not be allowed to prevail’
Britain will send armoured vehicles equipped with anti-aircraft rocket launchers to Ukraine, the Defence Secretary announced today.
Mr Wallace also told Parliament 15,000 Russian troops have been killed in the war, according to Britain’s latest estimates.
He added that to date the UK has provided more than 5,000 anti tank missiles, five air defence systems with more than 100 missiles, 1,360 anti-structural munitions, and 4.5 tonnes of plastic explosives.
Britain has also sent over 90,000 ration packs, 10 pallets of medical equipment, 3,000 pieces of body armour, 77,000 helmets and 3,000 pairs of boots, he said.
Mr Wallace told the UK House of Commons: “All of Europe can now see the true face of President Putin and his inner circle.
“His intention is only to destroy, to crush, to rub out the free peoples of Ukraine. He does not want to preserve. He must not be allowed to prevail.”
No10 earlier stressed Britain’s objective was not regime change in Russia.
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey criticised the standard of weapons offered so far.
The Labour opposition member said: “What is needed now is no longer old spare weapons from the Soviet era, but new Nato weapons that Ukraine will need for Putin’s next offensive against Odesa or Kyiv.”
Mr Wallace said to date more than 2,000 Russian armoured vehicles have been destroyed or captured in Putin’s botched initial invasion.
This includes at least 530 tanks, 530 armoured personnel carriers and 560 infantry fighter vehicles, as well as more than 60 helicopters and fighter jets, he said.
“The offensive that was supposed to take a maximum of a week has now taken weeks,” he added.
He confirmed British Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles have now been used in the field for three weeks.
Mr Wallace reiterated Russia has so far “failed in nearly every one of its objectives”.
He said: “In recognition of this failure the Russian high command has regrouped, reinforced and changed focus to securing Donetsk and Luhansk oblast.”
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He added: “At the start of this conflict Russia had committed over 120 battalion tactical groups, approximately 65% of its entire ground combat strength.
“As of now we assess around over 25% of these have been rendered not combat effective.
“Ukraine is an inspiration to us all. Their brave people have never stopped fighting for their lands. They have endured indiscriminate bombardment, war crimes and overwhelming military aggression but they have stood firm, galvanised the international community and beaten back the army of Russia in the north and the north east.
“We anticipate this next phase of the invasion will be an attempt by Russia to occupy further the Donbas and connect via Mariupol the Crimea so it’s urgent that we in the international community ensure Ukraine gets the aid and weapons it so much needs.”