Ukraine Russia war: Vladimir Putin's latest display of callous brutality shows why UK must boost Armed Forces – Scotsman comment

On Wednesday, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres held talks with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. On Thursday, when Guterres was in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian forces fired missiles at the city in what seems to have been a fit of pique.

Then yesterday, the deadly consequence of Putin’s desire to send a message to Guterres was revealed with the discovery of the body of journalist Vira Hyrych in the wreckage of the block of flats where she lived in central Kyiv, which was hit by one of the missiles.

Jamie Fly, president of Radio Liberty, where she worked, said they were “shocked and angered by the senseless nature of her death at home in a country and city she loved”. Colleagues, past and present, described her as “extremely kind”, “wonderful” and “a bright and kind person, a true professional”.

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The death of Hyrych was just one out of thousands since Russian troops invaded, but the circumstances display a shocking callousness and an utter disregard for the sanctity of life by the Russian regime.

Putin, unhappy with Guterres, decided to fire off a few missiles at Kyiv, despite Russia's withdrawal from the area. His government claimed to have hit a rocket factory, but pictures and witness accounts told a different story.

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This is the nature of the enemy that Ukraine is fighting and the West must ensure is defeated. And while some believe the Russian armed forces in Ukraine are close to collapse, there are also suggestions the war could last for years, with all the global turmoil and the risks of dangerous escalation that this would involve.

And so, despite the cost-of-living crisis, and the state of the NHS and the economy generally as it recovers from Covid, a spending priority for the UK Government has to be the Armed Forces.

Smoke rises after Russian missiles hit Kyiv on Thursday (Picture: John Moore/Getty Images)

Prince Charles, speaking to an RAF graduation parade, rightly said that the war in Ukraine was a “stark reminder that there is no substitute for credible defence”, adding, “... owing to the many daily threats and stresses we face at home and abroad, much will be asked of you in the years ahead”.

Even in defeat, Putin will be dangerous. The UK and the West must ensure it is ready for whatever lies ahead.


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