In an article published today, Ben Wallace criticised Vladimir Putin and predicted that Russia would be furious if it learned which Russian Allies were covertly supporting Ukraine. The defence secretary spoke on the opening day of the Conservative Party Conference.
He detailed how Russia’s actions have triggered an unprecedented amount of cooperation from countries around the world. Even states with a long-term commitment to neutrality or a typically pro-Moscow posture.
According to Mr Wallace, “there are a handful of Russian allies who do help surreptitiously.” If Russia found out that its supporters were giving to other organisations, it would be extremely upset.
Putin, he said, is a foolish leader who is worried about how he would be remembered in a century, adding, “It doesn’t matter that there’s nothing left in Ukraine. He’s already not sensible because of his feelings of “I’ve been wronged, Russia is entitled to everything, and we are mighty Russia.”
Russia has suffered significant setbacks in the last few months as Ukraine has achieved a series of stunning strategic triumphs despite what appeared to be insurmountable odds.
When asked if Putin was aware of the real situation on the ground, Mr Wallace said that he likely was aware of some but not all of the happenings, but that Putin likely knew little to nothing. I trust his claims that casualties were few, the army was unstoppable, and the Ukrainians would gladly accept them. There we go, he was mistaken about that.
Even though Putin threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in his recent address to the nation, the minister does not think he will. His statement that “tactical nuclear weapons are in Russian doctrine” is not surprising. They’re talking about a bomb that’s five times as big as Hiroshima when they talk about tactical nuclear weapons. Possibly as large as 10 Hiroshimas.
It’s quite improbable that he’ll follow through on that, in our opinion.
Mr Wallace indicated during a wide-ranging debate at Birmingham, England’s International Convention Centre that he will soon be proposing a “deep set” of reforms to his department.
This battle will last a lifetime. Now is not an easy time,” he remarked. One cannot defeat a power like Russia with a tidy campaign. The defence has been gutted during the past few years. A lot of funding was cut from the less glamorous aspects of defence. This has persisted for many years.
Ukraine and other crises and challenges around the world, he added, were shaping decisions on how and where to invest in defence.
“I want to hold the PM accountable on the commitments of defence,” Mr Wallace added. Defence funding cannot be treated as a luxury item. The global climate has become increasingly volatile. We’re always getting attacked, in one way or another.
The representative for Wyre and Preston North did not run for Tory leader in the previous election but did not rule out a future run for prime minister.
“You have to truly, really want it to be PM,” he remarked. You have to be willing to give up every single aspect of your private life. It leaves a permanent scar on your body. And that’s not to say I wasn’t tempted in the slightest…”
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