Ukraine Invasion: Calder Valley MP backs Boris Johnson's sanctions against Russia

The Calder Valley MP has spoken about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the sanctions the UK will be taking.

By Ian Hirst
Friday, 25th February 2022, 1:23 pm
Updated Friday, 25th February 2022, 1:42 pm

Fresh strikes have hit Kyiv amid warnings Russian forces are closing in on the capital as Nato allies prepare to determine the West’s next steps against the Kremlin.

By the end of the first day, the Ukrainian government said 137 civilians and military personnel had been killed.

The Conservative MP for the Calder Valley Craig Whittaker has spoken about the events as they unfolded and the action the UK government has taken.

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Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker

"Russia’s appalling assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state. We have been clear all along that there would be a severe cost for any further Russian military incursion into Ukraine," said Mr Whittaker.

"The Russian Government have repeatedly denied their hostile intent towards Ukraine, while they have been amassing troops, launching cyber-attacks, and staging false pretexts and provocations.

"We are now imposing the largest and most severe package of sanctions that Russia has ever seen alongside our international partners, and coordinating a response with our allies and partners to make sure that Russia cannot further undermine European stability.

"The Prime Minister has been clear that our support for Ukraine is unwavering. We will continue to support the Ukrainian Government and its people in the face of this assault on their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Diplomatically, politically, economically – and eventually, militarily – this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure.

"The PM has my full support as we stand with Ukraine."

Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion in the early hours of Thursday.

By the end of the day, the Ukrainian government said 137 civilians and military personnel had been killed.

However, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it is “unlikely” Russia achieved its planned objectives for the first day of its military action in Ukraine, crediting “fierce resistance” from the Ukrainian forces.

The MoD said in a statement just after 1am: “The Ukrainian Armed Forces have reportedly halted Russia’s advance towards Chernihiv. Fighting probably continues on the outskirts of the city.

“It is unlikely that Russia has achieved its planned Day 1 military objectives. Ukrainian forces have presented fierce resistance across all axes of Russia’s advance.”

Earlier, the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered a full military mobilisation lasting 90 days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the “largest and most severe” package of sanctions Russia has ever faced to punish Mr Putin, whom he labelled a “blood-stained aggressor”.

Among the new UK sanctions introduced were measures to hit five further oligarchs, including the Russian president’s former son-in-law, and to target more than 100 businesses and individuals.

Mr Johnson said he was sanctioning “all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine”, will ban Aeroflot from touching down planes in the UK and will freeze the assets of all major Russian banks, including immediately against VTB.

A package of further EU sanctions was announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen early on Friday following a special meeting of the EU Council.