Good morning. ben wallaceThe Secretary of Defense, giving interviews this morning, is receiving the latest assessment of the war situation in Ukraine from his department, the Ministry of Defense.
He told Sky News this morning when asked why the huge Russian convoy headed for Kyiv had stopped. When asked if this was due to logistical problems, or if it was a tactical decision, he replied:
Well, I think it’s a combination… What we’ve seen is that the strategy wasn’t perfect, rather they believed they would take many of these cities in a few hours instead of six days or more . And when it takes longer for any army to move, your logistics supply chain gets stretched. If you’re given enough rations for two days, and it takes you six, you’ve suddenly got a problem. And I think a lot of the issues are coming out from what we’ve seen.
They are also surprised by the strength of the Ukrainian resistance. And the Ukrainians are also carrying out a very clever plan. We have seen Ukrainians using UAVs to attack patrol train convoys, moving away from logistic lines. We have seen railway lines blown up. You and I think about all those things when it comes to resistance, so I think it’s effectively coming home.
But it is also a switch in Russian strategy. The Russians have realized that the Ukrainians, by fighting, are paying them many casualties, and the Russians have taken significant casualties, far more than they had planned.
So what they are doing is trying to change the strategy. What you are seeing now is a heavy bombardment at night. They won’t come as much to the cities. They will in some cases look like carpet bomb cities indiscriminately. They will blow their air at night instead of during the day, as they are shot during the day. And they slowly but surely try to encircle the cities and then either bypass them or bomb them.
This is the cruelty we are seeing and it is getting worse.
I will post more from his interviews soon.
Mostly I will focus on the UK’s response to the war today, but there will be some non-Ukrainian politics here as well. For more Ukraine coverage, read our global live blog.
Here is the agenda for the day.
10 a.m.: Sir Tom Winsor, the chief inspector of fires, gives evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Committee on the state of the fire services.
10.15 pm: Professor Graham Medley, Chair of the Scientific Epidemic Influenza Group (SPI-M) on Modelling, gives evidence to the Commons Science Committee.
12 noon: Boris Johnson faces Keir Starmer at PMQ.
12 noon: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, is questioned by the Group of Conveners of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood’s version of the Commons Liaison Committee).
2.30 p.m.: Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch gives evidence to the Commons Women and Equality Committee.
5 p.m.: Bishop Kenneth Nowakovsky, bishop for Ukrainian, Belarusian and Slovak Eastern Catholics in GB, and Olesya Khomechuk, director of the Ukrainian Institute, hold a press conference.
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