The British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has sent a warning shot to Vladimir Putin as it is “absolutely legitimate for Ukraine to take lethal force” to regain control of Crimea.
Wallace said the British government has “pretty much dismissed” most of the Kremlin’s “excuses” and lies for explosions at the Saky air base in Crimea.
The unprecedented strike at the Novofedorivka airfield which is 200km behind the Russian front line “was the start of Kyiv’s major counteroffensive,” according to an Ukrainian official.
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Speaking to the BBC Wallace said, “I think when you just look at the footage of two simultaneous explosions not quite next to each other, and some of the reported damage even by the Russian authorities, I think it’s clear that that’s not something that happens by someone dropping a cigarette.”
When he was asked if the Saky air base was a legitimate target for the Ukrainian Special Forces to strike, he replied, “First and foremost, Russia has illegally invaded, not just in 2014, but now Ukrainian territory.
“Ukraine, under United Nations articles, is perfectly entitled to defend its territory and take what action it needs to against an invading force.
“So, is it legitimate?
“It’s absolutely legitimate for Ukraine to take lethal force, if necessary, but take force in order to regain not only its territory, but also to push back its invader.
“And that air force base has been used by Russian air forces to bomb Ukrainian targets.
“So I think in anybody’s sort of manual of war it would be a legitimate target.”
On Tuesday Ukrainian Special Forces carried out the Top Secret operation to blow up the Russian air base in Crimea and the Ukraine have also warned that more strikes will happen “in the coming days” in Crimea.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s military adviser said on Thursday also confirmed that Special Forces unit carried out the explosive raid in Crimea, and warned Ukraine could launch more attacks on occupied Crimea in the coming days.