(right) Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace during the Joint Expeditionary Force press conference 23020222 CREDIT MOD (left) Russian military jet DATE UKNOWN CREDIT Russian MOD copy.png
The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (right) says the Russians have been restricted to bombing at night because of weapons systems delivered by the UK (Picture: Russian MOD (left)/UK MOD).
Ukraine

Ukraine: UK 'leading the way' in supplying anti-air weapons to counter Russian jets

(right) Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace during the Joint Expeditionary Force press conference 23020222 CREDIT MOD (left) Russian military jet DATE UKNOWN CREDIT Russian MOD copy.png
The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (right) says the Russians have been restricted to bombing at night because of weapons systems delivered by the UK (Picture: Russian MOD (left)/UK MOD).

The Defence Secretary has said the UK was leading the way in supplying Ukraine with anti-air weapons to counter Russian jets.

Ben Wallace told BBC Radio 4's Today: "There are two ways to achieve a no-fly zone. One is the way that Britain has led the way in, which is arming the Ukrainians with anti-air capabilities, from the ground to the air."

It has previously been confirmed that the UK was supplying anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainians but officials have been reluctant to publicly state what other arms have been supplied.

The Defence Secretary added: "And the reason they [Russia] are doing the bombing at night is because they can't – because of those weapon systems – the Russians cannot fly much in the day."

Last week Russian tanks were confirmed destroyed by the NLAW (next-generation light anti-armour weapon) provided by the UK.

A reported 300 fixed-wing Russian aircraft have been massed around Ukraine - air strikes have been expected but attacks have been limited to missile and artillery strikes.

Watch: Why aren't Russia's air force flying over Ukraine?

Meanwhile, Mr Wallace rejected calls for RAF jets to enforce a no-fly zone, warning it would trigger a Europe-wide conflict and could also hamper the Ukrainian forces' ability to counter Russia's military.

As well as mentioning the potential Article Five triggering of NATO from the actual enforcement of a no-fly zone he added the possible disadvantage to Ukraine.

Mr Wallace told Sky News: "A no-fly zone would also have to apply to Ukrainian jets, meaning they could not target Russian forces from the air.

"If you had a no-fly zone in Ukraine, the overwhelming scale of the Russian army would be able to drive around with impunity, which it can't at the moment."

 

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