Senior Tory Says UK Must Step Up Military Support For Ukraine
A senior Conservative MP has called on the UK and its allies to step up their military support for Ukraine, warning that the government was being "too easily spooked" by Vladimir Putin's threats.
Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the House of Commons Defence Committee, on Friday said the UK was doing enough to ensure Ukraine doesn't lose to Russia, but enough to help it win the war.
Ellwood said the UK and other western governments should send Ukraine heavier armoury to help them defeat Russian invaders, and that Nato should consider the "bold" move of sending boats to patrol the waters surrounding the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, which is a key target for Putin.
"Let's get on with this. Let's be more robust in standing up to Russia in Ukraine," he told Sky News.
Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are expected to commit to providing Ukraine with more anti-tank weapons when the pair meet in London today, according to The Times.
However, Western governments are being urged to step up their military support for Ukraine after harrowing images of human rights abuses carried out by Russian forces in the city of Bucha.
President Zelensky last night warned that the crimes carried out by Russian forces 15 miles away from Bucha in Borodyanka were "significantly more dreadful" with "even more victims".
"The work on dismantling the debris in Borodyanka began... It's much worse there," he said.
Ellwood said the UK was giving too much credence to the Kremlin claim that Nato countries providing Ukraine with offensive weapons would be tantamount to an act of war on Russia.
"We have been too easily spooked by the Kremlin rhetoric," he said, arguing it was possible to step up support for Ukrainian fighters without "causing World War Three".
He said Nato's failure to agree a more substantial package of military support for Zelensky had resulted in a "public bidding war" between western countries, which is not as helpful to Ukraine's cause.
"Because Nato won't endorse greater hardware being put in, we're now seeing a public bidding war between countries like the Slovak Republic (Slovakia) putting in tanks, Poland putting in MiG aircraft, and even Australia sending in APCs and indeed Britain as well," the committee chair said.
"This shouldn't be done in the public gaze.
"This should be quietly done behind the scenes, understanding the needs of the Ukrainian people. Getting them the equipment, getting them the ammunition, getting that across."
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