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Ukraine 1) PM to present world leaders with six-point plan to defeat Kremlin

“Boris Johnson has drawn up a six-point plan to defeat Vladimir Putin as he moves to assume leadership of global efforts to end the horror of war in Ukraine. In his action plan, Mr Johnson called for: the creation of an international humanitarian coalition for Ukraine; a boost to Kyiv’s military self-defence; a ratcheting up of sanctions on Moscow; concerted diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the crisis; and ‘a rapid campaign to strengthen security and resilience across the Euro-Atlantic area’. In addition, Mr Johnson wants to combat ‘the creeping normalisation of what Russia is doing in Ukraine’ as he fears that the shock value of Putin’s actions will start to fade.” – Mail on Sunday

Ukraine 2) Don’t test Britain, Wallace warns Putin

“Ben Wallace has warned Vladimir Putin not to “test” the United Kingdom, as the Defence Secretary indicated that he could pour more funds into the light weapons wreaking havoc on Russian tanks and aircraft in Ukraine. In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Wallace said that the Russian president would be seriously mistaken if he “underestimated” Britain’s resolve to face down Putin’s aggression. Amid fears of a potential Europe-wide spillover from an attack such as the strike by Russian forces on a Ukrainian power plant this week, he warned: “Anything that is an existential threat to Europe would elicit some form of response.” On Sunday, Boris Johnson will issue a plea to world leaders to match their words on Ukraine with action as he sets out a six-point plan for tackling the crisis.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Merciless Putin shells evacuees – Sunday Times
  • Mariupol’s evacuation proved to be false hope that left thousands trapped – Sunday Telegraph
  • Putin warns West: your sanctions are akin to an act of war – Observer
  • In cosy chat with air stewardesses, Putin hints at nuclear strike on West – Sunday Telegraph
  • Russian tanks stuck in mud ‘an example of poor planning’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • Visa and Mastercard will both suspend operations in Russia – Observer
  • Putin’s direct threat to UK – Sun on Sunday
  • If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he may ‘test unity of Nato’ next, warns Estonia’s PM – Sunday Times
  • SAS & US special forces ‘training for high-risk rescue of Ukrainian President’ – Sun on Sunday
  • Petrol price ‘to hit £3 per litre’ – Sunday Express
  • ‘Bring our unborn British babies home from Ukrainian surrogate mothers’ – Sunday Times
Refugees
  • UN says more than 1.3 million have fled since Russian invasion began – Observer
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Ukraine 3) Ben Wallace: Putin could be toying with Macron

“Amid the to-ing and fro-ing of world leaders and diplomats between Moscow and other European capitals last month, one visit particularly stood out. Ben Wallace, the UK’s Defence Secretary, was pictured grim-faced in conversation with Sergei Shoigu, his counterpart in Vladimir Putin’s government. Supplementing the more customary visits from diplomats and foreign ministers, Mr Wallace, a former captain in the Scots Guards, wanted to deliver a specific message to the minister and military chief in charge of Russia’s armed forces. “I managed to say to Shoigu and Gerasimov, the Ukrainians will fight and we will sanction you,” Mr Wallace said in an interview with The Telegraph, almost a month after his trip.” – Sunday Telegraph

Ukraine 4) Senior Tories demand increase in defence spending

“Lord Frost, the former Cabinet Office minister, and Sir Michael Fallon, the ex-defence secretary, have warned that defence spending must increase following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, as senior Tories insisted that funding should rise immediately by at least 25 per cent. Writing in this newspaper, Lord Frost warns that “we are going to have to spend more on defence and that will mean tough choices. We need to reform and liberalise so that investment keeps coming”. Sir Michael Fallon, who served in David Cameron and Theresa May’s cabinets, told The Sunday Telegraph that the case for more spending was now “unanswerable”, adding that the “ambition” of Boris Johnson’s integrated security and defence review must be “matched by a significant further uplift” in funding. Their interventions come after the Polish and German governments both indicated that they will increase national defence spending in light of the invasion.” – Sunday Telegraph

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Ukraine 5) Gove accused of ‘Corbyn approach’ over seizure of oligarchs’ lavish homes

“Michael Gove is taking a “Jeremy Corbyn approach” in his bid to seize oligarchs’ homes without compensation, government insiders have warned, as some in Whitehall resist proposals to confiscate Russian-owned assets. A government source warned against undermining “the right of an individual to own their own property” as part of the crackdown on those linked to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, following the invasion of Ukraine.  Last week, The Telegraph disclosed that Mr Gove was pushing to seize lavish UK homes owned by Putin’s allies. It followed independent research which suggested that £1.5 billion worth of property has been bought by Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin since 2016. The Housing Secretary is drawing up plans to allow the Government to confiscate oligarchs’ homes without paying compensation.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Britain freezes more Russian bank assets than any other country – Sunday Telegraph
  • MPs rebel on sanctions that may let tycoons hang on to £1.5bn – Sunday Times
  • Johnson’s Russian crony got peerage after spies dropped warning – Sunday Times
  • Why me, asks billionaire blocked from paying £200 private health bill – Sunday Times
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Ukraine 6) Adam Holloway: Give Ukraine what it needs to fight

“A few people, who really should know better, still think that it would be a good idea for Nato to try to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine and start World War Three. Most people realise that this fight has to be done by the Ukrainians themselves – and after my very brief visit to the west of the country in the last few days, I can assure you that the Ukrainians are up for it. But if they are doing the fighting we must provide them with the materials of war and play a part in looking after their populations, including refugees.  Among those I met on my trip was a Ukrainian three-star general who quotes Herodotus, Marx, Sting and Churchill. He explained that what the country needs most of all are air-defence systems. If the Russians dominate the skies, Ukrainian forces are doomed.” – Sunday Telegraph

Ukraine 7) Daniel Hannan: Ultra-Remainers are furious that Britain has led the world in confronting Russian aggression

“No country did more to strengthen Ukraine’s defences than Britain. If the resistance on those chilly steppes was stiffer than Vladimir Putin expected, it is partly because we spent seven years helping to train 22,000 Ukrainian soldiers. Those Russian tanks whose carcases now line the roads in grisly columns? Many of them were disabled by the 2,000 anti-tank missiles we provided. True, neither the UK nor any other Western ally is directly engaging Russian forces. But that decision was taken in 2008, when Nato placed Ukraine’s membership application at the back of the cupboard next to Georgia’s. For what it’s worth, Britain was at that time one of Ukraine’s stronger advocates. But other members felt that the priority had to be the credibility of Article 5.” – Sunday Telegraph

Williamson was knighted ‘for helping Johnson into No 10’

“Sir Gavin Williamson was awarded a knighthood because of his long-term friendship and support for Boris Johnson, it has been claimed. While the former education secretary was officially awarded the honour for public service, it is alleged that the real reason was his role in helping Johnson become prime minister. Many who worked on Johnson’s Conservative Party leadership campaign in 2019 and others who served him in No 10 said Williamson, 45, played a key part in getting him elected. As a former chief whip, Williamson worked closely with Grant Shapps, now the transport secretary, to deliver the votes of Tory MPs and give Johnson a commanding lead during the early rounds of the contest. “It is no more complicated than that,” one insider said.” – Sunday Times

New Ashcroft book: Billions gobbled up by NHS should be spent on making us all healthier… not fixing us

“The biggest NHS conference of the year is a two-day trade extravaganza for health policy luminaries celebrating ‘innovation, enterprise and collaboration’. The best entertainment usually takes place in the buzzing exhibition hall, where, at the event in 2019, a dishevelled-looking man with a long ginger beard was strumming a ukulele. In front of him stood about two dozen awkward-looking NHS types swaying their hips and singing a motivational ditty. As the official programme got under way on the main stage, their reedy voices could just about be made out, chorusing the words: ‘Remind to feel good, reconnect to feel good.’ – Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott, Mail on Sunday

Rayner will ‘push’ for next Labour leader to be a woman

“Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, has revealed she is “doing the groundwork now” to ensure that the party’s next leader is a woman. The shadow secretary of state for the future of work admitted that she would “certainly be pushing” for Sir Keir Starmer’s successor to be female, but she joked that at the moment she was “happy with Keir because I get to be the woman in charge”. Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, Rayner was asked if Labour was ready for a female leader and whether she would consider standing for the role herself. She told Times Radio: “I think the Labour party is ready and I’m doing the groundwork now to make sure it’s ready by supporting other women and saying you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.” – Observer

Tories ‘drop vow’ to double dementia funding

“The government’s “dementia moonshot” promise to double research funding, made in its last manifesto, has been quietly dropped. Boris Johnson promised to increase investment to £160 million a year, up from £83 million in 2018-19. But health officials have admitted the research budget has been cut since the election, a fact that they blamed on Covid. Rather than £160 million a year, the budget has been cut to £75 million a year for the next five years, below the previous amount of £83 million. This is also now being shared among all neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and motor neurone disease.” – Sunday Times