Ben Wallace Warns Putin May “Indiscriminately Carpet Bomb” Ukrainian Cities
Defence secretary Ben Wallace has warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brutality” in Ukraine is set to “only get worse” as the conflict enters its seventh day.
He told Sky News that Russia had suffered "significant casualties” which were “far more than they had planned" and that Putin was not likely to “switch tactics”.
“What you are seeing now are those heavy bombardments at night. They won't come into the cities as much. They will, I'm afraid as we've seen tragically, carpet bomb cities indiscriminately in some cases,” Wallace said.
"They will fly at night rather than daytime, because what we've seen is they get shot down in the daytime. And they will slowly but surely try and surround the cities and then either bypass them or bombard them.
"That is the brutality that I'm afraid we are witnessing and it's going to get worse. I've warned before, the Russian doctrine is to get harder and tougher and more indiscriminate.”
Wallace also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that morale among Putin’s forces was low, as many were hungry and underprepared for the war.
“They've been told it's an exercise. And in other cases, they've been told the Ukrainians would welcome them.
“You get a very low morale and we have definitely seen cases of very quick surrenders by Russian forces.
“We've seen lots of abandonment of incredible pieces of equipment. That is what happens when your military leaders don't prepare you, lie to you or deceive you."
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed overnight that 6,000 Russians have been killed in the six days of war so far.
It comes as Russian forces enter Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv, which has recieved heavy bombing in recent days.
According to the Ministry of Defence, gains by Putin’s troops in the city have been “limited” due to “a combination of ongoing logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance”.
“Heavy Russian artillery and air strikes have continued to target built-up areas over the past 24 hours, primarily focused on the cities of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Chernihiv,” it said in a statement.
“The number of civilians displaced and forced to flee Putin’s invasion has reportedly passed 660,000.”
Wallace told the BBC that Kharkiv was not currently under Russian control, and that its army had “failed to take control of nearly every city” it had entered so far.
“They have been stopped, paused, or being repelled… the Ukrainian defenders are very strong and very brave,” he said.
He added that these delays were what led Russian troops to “ruthlessly pummell these cities with artillery” once their initial incursion failed.
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