Boris Johnson warns Russia is making 'palpable progress' in Donbas region

Mr Johnson urged further military support, in an interview with Bloomberg, saying more offensive weapons including long-range multiple-launch rocket systems are needed.
Boris Johnson warns Russia is making 'palpable progress' in Donbas region
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Leon Neal/PA)

Boris Johnson has stressed the “vital” need to continue providing Ukraine with military support as Russian forces slowly “chew through ground” in the east.

The British prime minister warned Vladimir Putin’s forces are making “palpable progress” in the Donbas region after abandoning the attempt to encircle Kyiv.

Mr Johnson urged further military support, in an interview with Bloomberg, saying more offensive weapons including long-range multiple-launch rocket systems are needed.

The Russian president’s invading troops have recently captured “several villages” as they attempt to surround Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in the Donbas region, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

But it said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s defending forces are holding “multiple defended sectors” as Russia deploys 50-year-old Soviet-era T-62 tanks.

These, the intelligence update said, “will almost certainly be particularly vulnerable” to anti-tank weapons and shows Russia’s lack of “modern, combat-ready equipment”.

Mr Johnson said: “I think it’s very, very important that we do not get lulled because of the incredible heroism of the Ukrainians in pushing the Russians back from the gates of Kyiv.

“I’m afraid that Putin at great cost to himself and Russian military is continuing to chew through ground in Donbas, he’s continuing to make gradual, slow but I’m afraid palpable progress.

“And therefore it is absolutely vital that we continue to support the Ukrainians militarily.”

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