Despite these crystal clear tensions, the Wagner Group has been increasingly relied upon to fill the void where the Russian military can not. Wagner has become a key component of the Ukraine campaign. This now almost certainly commands up to 50, 000 fighters within Ukraine. At least 40, 500 of these appear to be convicts recruited from prisons and penal colonies – this means around one quarter of all Ruskies personnel serving in Ukraine are convicts recruited simply by Wagner. This is yet a lot more evidence of President Putin and his military leadership scrambling to provide numbers in place of trained practitioners and effective leadership. Mister Chair, in the FSC exactly a year ago we discussed “Compliance with International Humanitarian Law and Protection of Civilians”. During that meeting, my Russian colleague stated that: “Humanity, including on the battlefield, is a hallmark of civilized behaviour by States. ” For once, we agree. Thank you, Mr Chair. Over these past weeks, heavy and attritional fighting has continued, specifically around the Donetsk Oblast city of Bakhmut, and in the particular less reported-on sector of Kremina, in Luhansk. Within the south, in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, both sides have massed significant forces, which have conducted artillery exchanges and skirmishes, but have avoided any kind of large-scale offensive effort. Mr Chair, on nineteen January the Defence Ministers of Estonia, the United Kingdom, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania; and the representatives of Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, plus Slovakia met to reaffirm our continued determination and resolve to supporting Ukraine in their heroic resistance towards Russia’s illegal and unprovoked aggression. At this meeting, we all recognised that equipping Ukraine to push Russia from Ukrainian territory is as essential as equipping them to protect what they already have. The new degree of combat power required simply by Ukraine is only achieved by mixtures of main battle container squadrons, beneath air and missile defence, operating together with divisional artillery groups, and further deep precision fires enabling targeting of Russian strategies and command nodes within temporarily Russian controlled territory. Frustrated by lack of progress, Putin provides sought to reconsolidate their military power base. However , we continue to see proof of tension between the military management and Wagner Head, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Mr Seat, we do not underestimate the particular continuing threat posed with the Russian Federation but , over time, there will be cause for Ukraine to celebrate. Ukraine will certainly continue to demonstrate their determined courage, determination and long-lasting moral strength as they fight to liberate more of their own homeland. Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence is going to be fully restored. Thank you. However , Russia’s actions over the last year display that it has chosen a path of depravity more than humanity. It has demonstrated finish disregard for International Humanitarian education Law; it has unleashed horrendous violence, conducting heinous assaults impacting on civilians and civilian infrastructure; and it has exhibited its willingness to sacrifice its own people in their thousands to try and overcome persistent plus institutional poor decision making by the Kremlin. Putin’s horrific battle of choice has created a heritage for which millions will be forced to bear the cost of for years to come. The United Kingdom’s accelerated package consists of a squadron associated with Challenger 2 tanks along with armoured recovery and restoration vehicles; AS90 self-propelled 155mm guns; hundreds more armoured and protected vehicles; the manoeuvre support package, which includes minefield breaching and linking capabilities; dozens more un-crewed aerial systems to support Ukrainian artillery; another 100, 1000 artillery rounds; hundreds a lot more sophisticated missiles including GMLRS rockets, Starstreak air defence missiles, and medium range air defence missiles; six hundred Brimstone anti-tank munitions; an equipment support package of spares to refurbish up to and including hundred Ukrainian tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. The particular package is further augmented by continuing basic coaching and junior leadership working out for the AFU in the UK along with 9 International partners, using the aim of training around a more 20, 000 AFU workers in 2023.