Mariupol troops ‘soaking up a huge amount of Russian combat’ as Ukraine defence continues

Ukraine 'more prepared' for fight in the Donbas says Heappey

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Following the intensification of heavy fights in Mariupol and Donbas region, UK Armed Forces MP James Heappey highlighted that Mariupol defenders “are soaking up a huge amount of Russian combat power” but with support from the West Ukraine has a “good chance to see [Russians] off”. “[Russian and Ukrainian forces] are “much more evenly balanced”, said the MP. 

Speaking with Mr Heappey and referring to intensification of fights in Donbas region, Sky News presenter Nails Paterson said: “Boris Johnson himself has already expressed concern over Donbas region”

He then asked: “Is it or not an inevitability of Russia taking territory in that part of Ukraine?”

Mr Heappey responded: “I do not think it is an inevitability at all”

He continued: “I think the last time that I had the privilege of speaking for the government was two or three weeks ago”

“And [in that occasion] we were reflecting then on how imminent the demise of Mariupol may be”, he added. 

Referring to Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol, he then stated: “And yet those fighters who are in Mariupol defending it inevitably are still going through”

“They are soaking a huge amount of Russian combat power as that defence continues”, he highlighted.

Mr Heappey added: “I think what we will see in the Donbas is a very different type of conflict to the one we saw around Kyiv”

“I think we will se a conflict between the two forces that are much more evenly balanced”

“Where the Ukrainians have the advantage of defensive position that has been dug in and prepared over the last eight years”

“And that is going to make an extraordinarily difficult nut for the Russians to crack”, he explained.

Mr Heappey concluded: “I think that with all the support that Ukraine is getting around the world there is every chance that Ukrainians can see [Russians] off”.

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The claims follow Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s claim that “there is a real danger of WW3″. 

According to the Russian Foreign Minister, NATO, by continuing to deliver military aids to Ukraine, is in fact showing interest in engaging in a war with Russia.

Russia’s warnings follow US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit on Monday to President Zelensky in Kyiv and following US decision to provide Ukraine with military aid package, which included a £130m sale of ammunition to Ukraine. 

In light of the warnings, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “[Russia’s] talk of a real danger of WW3 means that Moscow sensed defeat in Ukraine”. 

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