While yesterday may have been bleak for Europe, a situation report provided by Ben Wallace this morning paints the picture slightly brighter. Ukraine mounted a fierce resistance: Russia has lost 450 personnel; the people of Ukraine seemingly have no intention of welcoming Russian troops as ‘liberators’; and Ukrainian forces retook Antonov Airport from Russia’s elite forces – a key strategic target for Putin.
Day two has seen the resumption of shelling as Russia attempts to take Kyiv, with Russian operatives now at the outer edge of the city, 9km away from the parliament building. Overnight President Zelensky gave another address, identifying himself as target number one of the Russian forces though vowed to remain in the capital. In the early hours, the EU revealed their latest package of sanctions against Russia, which as expected did not include blocking the country from Swift. On the Today Programme this morning Wallace vowed:
“Britain wants the SWIFT system to be turned off to Russia. But other countries do not. We are going to work all day to try to get it”
Ukraine appears also to have struck on Russian soil for the first time, with Illia Ponomarenko, a reporter with The Kyiv Independent, reporting this picture as being of a Russian airfield in Millerovo, Rostov Oblast. He claims a number of enemy aircraft were destroyed in a strike by the Ukrainian military.
13 Ukrainian soldiers who died defending Snake Island in the Black Sea were posthumously awarded war hero honours by the president. Audio of their final moments went viral yesterday when they were heard responding to demands to surrender with “Russian warship, go f— yourself.” Legends…