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Russia’s military campaign has made only marginal gains and at huge cost: UK statement to the OSCE

Thank you, Mr Chair. As we resume our regular meetings in this new trimester, sadly Russia’s war of aggression continues, causing widespread death and destruction in Ukraine. We may note that Russia is further away than ever, under the Putin Regime, from honouring this organisation’s aims to create greater openness, transparency, and cooperation. It is so important that all other participating states in this Forum continue to hold Russia accountable for these heinous actions, for not only does Russia present an existential threat to Ukraine, but Russia also seeks to challenge the very basis on which this organisation was founded.

Russia’s invasion of its sovereign neighbour is not just an abhorrent act that contravenes international law, it is a serious miscalculation which has united an unprecedented level of international support behind Ukraine to face this act of aggression.

During the period this Forum has been in recess, Russia has continued to launch a barrage of drone and missile attacks across the country. Particularly devastating have been the attacks on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second most populous city. Using glide bombs, this indiscriminate weaponry has caused widespread civilian casualties, damage to local housing, medical facilities, and critical infrastructure. Similarly, on 17 April, an attack on the city of Chernihiv killed 17 people, damaged a hospital and an education facility, whilst the destruction of the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant is a cynical attack on civilian energy infrastructure. This is not the effective targeting of the Ukrainian military but a campaign of terror against the civilian population.

Where Russia has engaged the Ukrainian military, the gains have been marginal and come at significant cost. The number of Russia’s casualties now stands at over 300,000 with more than 50,000 killed. The rate of desertion is 7400 whilst western nations have received unprecedented amounts of asylum requests from Russian nationals wishing to avoid military service. This is a testament to the moral bankruptcy and distorted rationale behind Putin’s war.

Despite operating with far less resources, Ukraine has had further success against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, damaging the Russian vessel, Kommuna. On 17 April, Ukraine successfully conducted an attack on Dzhankoi Airfield in Crimea, destroying four S-300 and S-400 missile launchers, radar stations and a command post and on 19 April, Russia lost a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber, bringing Russia’s fixed-wing aircraft losses to over 100.

Mr Chair, in the face of this onslaught of aggression, Ukraine and its people have continued to show defiance and resilience, upholding the values that this organisation espouses. The United Kingdom is committed to providing Ukraine with the support it needs to defend itself and push Russia out of Ukraine’s sovereign territory. The United Kingdom will commit a further £500 million in military aid to Ukraine, taking this year’s total spending commitment to £3 billion. This funding will be rapidly delivered to provide urgently needed ammunition, air defence, drones and engineering support, in recognition that supporting Ukraine is the only path to a just and lasting peace. Ukraine will win. Thank you.

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