Russia has failed in its major objectives and lost over 450 troops, says defence secretary

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has painted a picture of Russian failure to meet its main objectives on day one of fighting.

Speaking to Sky News, he said the UK’s intelligence suggests Russia is “behind its hoped-for timetable” and the Russian army “has failed on day one to deliver its main objective”.

More than 450 Russian troops have been killed so far, he said.

While it remains the UK’s view that Russia intends to invade the whole of Ukraine, Mr Wallace said the Ukrainians have put up more of a fight than the Russians were expecting.

Russia had also failed to take a significant airport, he said.

Ukraine “has a lot of fight in it” and “President Putin is not getting it the way he wishes it”, he added.

As for any war crimes have been committed, Mr Wallace said there has certainly been a breach of international law but he did not go further.

However, he said Russian commanders would be held responsible if they commit war crimes and “we will pursue them no matter what happens in Ukraine”.

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