Putin ‘sending tens of thousands of Russians to their deaths’, says UK defence minister Ben Wallace

Vladimir Putin is "sending tens of thousands of Russians to their deaths", the UK's defence secretary has said. Ben Wallace was responding to the news that the Russian

president would mobilise 300,000 military reservists. Mr Wallace said Russian troops were "ill-equipped and badly led" and that they were losing the war in

Ukraine. "President Putin's breaking of his own promises not to mobilise parts of the population and the illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine are an admission that his

invasion is failing," the defence secretary said on Wednesday morning. "He and his defence minister have sent tens of thousands of their own citizens to their deaths,

ill-equipped and badly led. "No amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war, the international community are united and Russia is

becoming a global pariah." Estimates of Russian losses in the war vary widely but most put the figure in the tens of thousands. It comes as UK foreign office minister

Gillian Keegan said comments by the Russian president overnight were "clearly an escalation" and "concerning". In a televised speech Mr Putin had accused the West of

"nuclear blackmail" and said his country could respond. The Russian leader had criticised "statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading Nato states about

the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia”.