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Ukraine latest news – live: Boris Johnson plays down Putin’s nuclear threats

Russia’s president ‘trying to reframe conflict in Ukraine to be about Russia and Nato’, says PM

Arpan Rai,Aisha Rimi,Thomas Kingsley
Thursday 30 June 2022 23:00
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Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre

Prime minister Boris Johnson has played down the estimated 35 nuclear threats made by president Vladimir Putin since the start his military operation - insisting instead that he would be able to overcome Ukrainian resistance by conventional means.

In an interview marking the end of the Nato summit in Spain, Mr Johnson told LBC’s Nick Ferrari : “I think it’s very, very important that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be side-tracked by this kind of sabre-rattling.

“Because fundamentally, what Putin is trying to do is to reframe this as about Russia versus Nato.

“It’s not. It’s about his attack on an entirely innocent country, with conventional weapons, with artillery, bombardments with planes, shells and so on.

“And it’s about the Ukrainians’ right to protect themselves. That is what this is about.

“And what we had today at Nato was, yet again, the alliance being tested, being asked, being interrogated. Are we resolved? Are we determined? Will we give the Ukrainians the means to protect themselves?

“And the answer was absolutely yes and, if anything, the strength of the unity is greater than it was before.”

1656626400

Boris Johnson’s 2030 military spending pledge ‘feeble’, say senior Tories

Boris Johnson sought to heal a cabinet rift by promising to hike defence spending to 2.5 per cent of Britain’s economic output by the end of the decade.

The prime minister wrapped up the Nato summit in Madrid with a pledge that could see more than £55bn added to military budgets this decade, following Ben Wallace’s pleas for more money.

However, senior Conservatives said the PM’s ambition remained “feeble” and the target too far off, given the gravity of the immediate threat from Vladimir Putin’s Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Adam Forrest reports:

Boris Johnson’s 2030 military spending pledge ‘feeble’, say senior Tories

PM commits to increase military spending to 2.5% of GDP by the end of decade

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 23:00
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Watch: Liz Truss says Putin's 'rhetoric' and its threat towards Nato should be ignored

Liz Truss says Putin's 'rhetoric' and its threat towards Nato should be ignored
Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 22:03
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Vladimir Putin loses his 57th colonel in just four months of war

Vladimir Putin has lost another colonel - the 57th in just four months of war, as fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine.

Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Kislyakov, 40, was buried on Thursday with full military honours in his hometown in the Moscow region.

Kislyakov, commander of a prestigious unit of Russian paratroopers, is the 57th known colonel to have been killed since president Putin ordered his troops to launch a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Thomas Kingsley has more:

Vladimir Putin loses his 57th colonel in just four months of war

Russia has also lost at least 12 generals during the conflict

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 20:45
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Boris Johnson plays down Putin’s nuclear threats

Boris Johnson has played down the estimated 35 nuclear threats made by president Vladimir Putin since the start his military operation - insisting instead that he would be able to overcome Ukrainian resistance by conventional means.

In an interview marking the end of the Nato summit in Spain, Mr Johnson told LBC’s Nick Ferrari : “I think it’s very, very important that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be side-tracked by this kind of sabre-rattling.

“Because fundamentally, what Putin is trying to do is to reframe this as about Russia versus Nato.

“It’s not. It’s about his attack on an entirely innocent country, with conventional weapons, with artillery, bombardments with planes, shells and so on.

“And it’s about the Ukrainians’ right to protect themselves. That is what this is about.

“And what we had today at Nato was, yet again, the alliance being tested, being asked, being interrogated. Are we resolved? Are we determined? Will we give the Ukrainians the means to protect themselves?

“And the answer was absolutely yes and, if anything, the strength of the unity is greater than it was before.”

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 20:20
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Putin can hold onto power in Russia if he backs down over Ukraine, Boris Johnson says

Vladimir Putin still has a way to get out of the war in Ukraine without losing his grip on power in Moscow, Boris Johnson has suggested.

Ever since Russia’s invasion of its neighbour on 24 February, Mr Johnson has made clear that, while supporting Ukraine’s efforts to drive Putin’s troops out of the country, he was not seeking regime change in the Kremlin.

He has previously been critical of Western leaders, like France’s Emmanuel Macron, who have suggested that Putin must be offered a ladder to climb down to allow him to end the conflict without losing face.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the story:

Putin can hold onto power in Russia if he backs down over Ukraine, Boris Johnson says

Russian president has sufficient support at home to tell his people that he is halting conflict ‘in the interests of peace’

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 19:55
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Russian strikes more than double in fortnight, Kyiv claims

Missile strikes have more than doubled over the last fortnight, figures show.

It comes a Ukrainian brigadier general said on Thursday that Moscow was using inaccurate Soviet-era missiles for more than half of the attacks.

General Oleksii Hromov estimated that 68 civilian sites had been hit in the second half of this month.

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 19:30
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Watch: Russian oil transfers off England's coast

Russian oil transfers off England's coast
Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 19:05
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Ankara seeks intensified efforts for lasting Ukraine ceasefire

Efforts must be intensified for a lasting ceasefire in Ukraine, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan has said.

He was speaking at a news conference in Madrid at the end of a Nato summit on Thursday.

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 18:40
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UK ‘underspend’ on climate crisis to be used to bolster military aid for Ukraine

The UK’s expanded £1bn commitment to military aid for Ukraine will be partly funded through underspending on climate finance, the business minister Kwasi Kwarteng has said.

Following the British government’s announcement it would nearly double support to Ukraine to help stave off the Russian invasion, Mr Kwarteng tweeted: “My department has contributed to the effort by surrendering climate finance and foreign aid underspends.”

The admission comes a month after The Independent revealed the UK government failed to deliver almost a quarter of a billion pounds in green projects aimed at hitting net zero emissions even as Boris Johnson urged governments around the world to drastically raise their investment in tackling the climate crisis.

Our environment correspondent Harry Cockburn reports:

UK ‘underspend’ on climate crisis to be used to bolster military aid for Ukraine

Britain has failed to deliver £250m of projects designed to help hit net zero emissions

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 18:15
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Putin downplays Ukraine grain blockage

Vladimir Putin has denied that Moscow was blocking Ukrainian grain exports and questioned the impact of missing Ukrainian agricultural goods on the world food market.

“We do not prevent the export of Ukrainian grain. The Ukrainian military has mined the approaches to their ports, no one prevents them from clearing those mines and we guarantee the safety of shipping grain out of there,” Putin said, speaking alongside visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Putin repeated Russia’s assertion that Western sanctions are to blame for problems on the global food market and rising prices.

He also downplayed Ukraine‘s impact on the global market, saying there were only 5 million tonnes of wheat currently stuck in the country.

“This is a quantity which does not affect the world markets in any way,” he added, saying it represented just 0.5 per cent of global production.

Reuters

Emily Atkinson30 June 2022 17:50

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