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‘Ukraine’s resilience has been extraordinary’: Sunak leads praise on war anniversary | Politics | News

Rishi Sunak called on Western allies to show “enduring” military support for Ukraine on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion. The Prime Minister urged world leaders to supply longer-range weapons to the braveheart nation to help it fight back against Vladimir Putin’s military machine.

Mr Sunak used a call with G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, to urge that they “move faster” in arming President Volodymyr Zelensky’s resistance against the invasion.

Britain also announced a new package of sanctions, imposing an export ban on every piece of equipment Russia has been found using on the battlefield in Ukraine.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The leaders reiterated their unfaltering support for Ukraine and agreed on the need to continue to intensify military aid. Ukraine’s resilience and courage since the start of the full-scale invasion had been extraordinarily inspiring, the Prime Minister said.

“Discussing the global impact of Russia’s war, he said the Russian assault on Ukraine wasn’t just a Euro-Atlantic problem, but an attack on universal principles.

“The leaders also discussed the strong show of support for Ukraine at the United Nations last night…The Prime Minister added that the international community needed to support Ukraine with long-term military and security assurances to send a strong message to President Putin that the global support was enduring.

The rallying cry came after Mr Sunak led a minute’s silence from Downing Street. He was joined by wife Akshata Murthy, Kyiv’s Ambassador to Britain Vadym Prystaiko, singers and dozens of Ukrainian soldiers.

When despot Putin launched his renewed invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year, many believed his military might would capture Kyiv within weeks – or even days.

But the Ukrainian resistance led by President Zelensky and assisted by the weapons and support provided by allies, including Britain, repelled the invasion to the East.

At least 100,000 of each side’s soldiers are estimated to have been killed or injured, thousands more civilians have died and more than 13 million people have been made refugees or displaced inside Ukraine. On Friday, an emotional Mr Zelensky vowed his country will do everything in its power to win the war before another anniversary can be marked.

The UK remains a prominent supporter of Kyiv, with the Government announcing earlier this year that Britain would be the first country to supply tanks to its armed forces.

But fears remain that the conflict could continue for at least another year, even as Ukraine insists that further support and weaponry can help bring it to a conclusion.

To give Kyiv a “decisive advantage”, Britain is trying to revive plans to provide Eastern European allies with fighter jets so they
can release their Soviet-era planes to Ukraine.

Britain will be training Ukrainian pilots but allies have been reluctant to release the modern warplanes requested by Mr Zelensky.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said backfilling allies with the UK’s jets to free up their own would be a quicker way to bolster Kyiv’s defences than providing them with British Typhoons. Mr Wallace also revealed the Russian army was suffering “huge losses” on the battlefield for territorial gain measured “in metres not miles”.

And he predicted a growing number of invading troops will be sacrificed to satisfy Putin’s crackpot demands.

Mr Wallace said: “It will move effectively to a meat-grinder approach where it just keeps sacrificing its own soldiers for the vanity of the Kremlin.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced the internationally coordinated new package of sanctions and warned the failing Russian president will “probably threaten nuclear use”.

Export bans have been extended to include hundreds of goods, including aircraft parts, radio equipment and electronic components that can be used by Moscow’s military machine.

The UK also sanctioned senior executives at the Russian state-owned nuclear power company Rosatom, as well as bosses at two of its largest defence companies and four banks.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said this country’s support “is as firm and unstinting today as it was on that dark day one year ago.”.

He added that Ukraine’s “fight for democracy, freedom and liberty in the face of tyranny is also our fight. Standing with our Nato allies, we will ensure Putin’s defeat and Ukraine’s victory”.

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.