Published:

Russia has not taken any of its major objectives, says Wallace

“Russia has not taken “any of its major objectives” on the first day of its attack on Ukraine, the Defence Secretary has said. Ben Wallace today said that Russia has lost over 450 personnel so far and failed to take key military objectives such as the Antonov Airport in Hostomel, as Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president, rallies his country ahead of fresh attacks. “Our assessment as of this morning is that Russia has not taken any of its major objectives, in fact it is behind its hoped-for timetable,” Mr Wallace told Sky News… So far it is believed that at least 137 Ukrainians have died, while Mr Zelenskyy said that the world had left his country to fight “alone” despite a raft of sanctions being announced by countries including the UK.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Russian losses outstrip Ukrainian by three to one – Daily Express
  • Putin could deploy nuclear weapons in Ukraine, says armed forces minister – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • Defiant Zelensky says Russian special forces have entered Kiev – The Times
  • Western officials say assault on capital imminent – FT
  • US fears city will fall in 96 hours – The Sun
  • Plan to fly in 10,000 paratroopers and ‘decapitate’ government – Daily Mail

>Today:

UK pushes for Russia to be banned from global cash club

“Boris Johnson announced a series of sanctions against Russian banks, oligarchs and overseas interests but faced splits with western allies over plans for one of the strongest measures demanded by Ukraine. The prime minister branded President Putin a “bloodstained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest” and said it was Britain’s “steadfast and unflinching goal” to ensure the invasion would “ultimately fail and be seen to fail”. He laid out what he described as “the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia had seen”. They will apply to more than 100 Russian businesses, individuals and entities with financial interests in the UK. But one aim is being resisted.” – The Times

  • EU blocks our bid to punish Russia – Daily Mail
  • World leaders divided on whether to eject Russia from Swift – FT
  • Johnson announces ‘largest ever’ set of sanctions against Russia – The Guardian
  • Biden is slammed for saying ‘no one expected sanctions to prevent anything’ – Daily Mail

More:

  • Patel says Ukrainians who have visas in the UK will have their stays temporarily extended – Daily Mail
  • Household energy bills set to hit £3,000 a year – The Times
  • Truss kicks out Russian ambassador following ‘very grumpy meeting’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Maurisa Coleman in Comment: China is using this war to gauge what the West’s response would be to an invasion of Taiwan

>Yesterday:

Labour MPs drop backing for statement criticising Nato after Starmer warning

“A group of 11 Labour MPs from the left of the party have removed their names from a statement about the invasion of Ukraine, which heavily criticises Nato after being warned they risked losing the party whip. In a rapid victory for Keir Starmer over MPs still linked to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour chief whip wrote to the 11 backbenchers asking them to remove their signatures from a statement drawn up by the Stop the War group. It is understood that Alan Campbell told the group, including Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Richard Burgon, that they risked losing the Labour whip if they did not remove their names. A party spokesperson later said all the MPs had agreed to do so.” – The Guardian

  • Another told she is ‘historically wrong, factually wrong and morally wrong’ to compare Ukraine to Palestine – Daily Mail

Liz Truss: Britain will lead by example in standing up to Putin

“The UK is proud to lead by example. We warned repeatedly alongside our allies that any further invasion would incur massive consequences with severe costs. We have been working in lockstep to show Moscow that we mean what we say. Our unprecedented package of economic sanctions will leave no part of the Putin regime unscathed. We are hitting more than a hundred companies and oligarchs at the heart of the Russian establishment with sanctions worth many hundreds of billions of pounds. Our targets range from Russia’s largest defence company and its second biggest bank to leading members of President Putin’s inner circle. This will deliver the highest economic cost the Kremlin has ever seen.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He and his band of thieves must be punished whatever the cost – Tom Tugendhat MP, The Sun
  • Like 9/11, invasion has shattered the West’s certainties – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

More:

  • How much economic pain are we prepared to suffer for Ukraine? – James Forsyth, The Times
  • Another oil price shock would defeat the West – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: No, the Tories aren’t in Putin’s pay, nor is Labour working for him to win

Chancellor calls for ‘culture of enterprise’ as he sets out vision for UK economy

“In a speech designed to appeal to the traditional right of the ruling Conservative party, the chancellor delivered a paean to Thatcherite principles, arguing that political leaders had a moral duty to boost sluggish economic growth in order to “restore people’s faith in free markets” and “preserve the freedoms that only come from market economies”. While the government had been forced to take “extraordinary” action to protect households from the economic fallout of the Covid-19 crisis, his goal now would be to end a “steady drift” towards interventionist policies that had set in before the pandemic began, and focus on creating the conditions for the private sector to invest in ways that would raise productivity, he said.” – FT

  • Sunak rules out immediate tax cuts – The Times

More:

  • £1.9bn youth employment scheme failed to deliver, say MPs – FT
  • Sunak ‘accused of breaking lockdown laws’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Patel faces backlash after it emerges asylum claims have hit an 18-year high

“Embattled Priti Patel is facing a backlash after it emerged asylum claims have hit an 18-year high. The Home Office revealed nearly 50,000 asylum papers were processed last year — as the Home Secretary failed to stem the flow of small boats crossing the Channel. Overall, there were 48,540 UK asylum applications in 2021 — a rise of 63 per cent on the previous year and the highest for a calendar year since 2003. The figure does not include the 15,000 Afghans evacuated from Taliban rule in Kabul. It was boosted by the huge numbers of people making the crossing from France, with 28,526 arriving in 1,034 small boats, numbers published yesterday confirmed.” – The Sun

End of plan for university applications after A-levels

“Ministers have abandoned plans for students to apply to university after they have received their A-level results. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said the government would no longer introduce a system of post-qualification admissions (PQAs) originally announced in November 2020. She said that it would be “inappropriate” to overhaul the admissions process when schools were struggling to recover from the pandemic… At an event to mark the publication of the government’s response to the Augar review into higher education funding, she hinted at a crackdown on “Mickey Mouse” degrees.” – The Times

  • Lower earning graduates in England will see student loan repayments more than double – FT

>Yesterday: Michelle Donelan MP in Comment: Our response to Augar. A new, fairer deal for students, universities and the taxpayer.

Crackdown on social media’s anonymous trolls

“Tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter will be required to give users the option to block anonymous accounts from interacting with them, ministers have said. In an attempt to crack down on anonymous trolls “polluting platforms”, the government has added measures to the Online Safety Bill that will give social media users more control. The largest and most popular social media sites will need to give users the ability to block people who have not verified their identity. The majority of social networks in the UK do not require people to share personal details on their accounts, with users able to identify themselves by an alias or other term not linked to a legal identity.” – The Times

  • Government seeks an injunction to block BBC from broadcasting spy story – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • The Ukraine crisis started with Suez – Peter Franklin, UnHerd
  • Will Germany now become a serious military power again? – Katja Hoyer, The Spectator
  • Slaves to bad history – Ben Sixsmith, The Critic
  • Northern Ireland, olive oil and the EU’s phony attitude to ‘risk’ – Owen Polley, CapX