Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Robert Dex

Russia prepares to finance years of fighting in Ukraine according to leaked documents

Russia is “preparing for multiple further years of fighting” in Ukraine, says the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after a series of leaks of confidential papers from Moscow.

The warning was made in the MoD’s intelligence update and is based on leaked documents believed to be from Russia’s Finance Ministry which suggested its defence spending was due to be increased by more than two thirds to 10.8 trillion roubles.

The MoD briefing said that high level of spending could be supported through 2024 “but only at the expense of the wider economy”.

It went on: “Full details on Russian defence spending are always classified, but these figures suggests that Russia is preparing for multiple further years of fighting in Ukraine”.

Earlier the Prime Minister was forced to clarify comments by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps suggestion that British troops could train forces in Ukraine.

He ruled out UK forces going to Ukraine and said that recently appointed political head of the Ministry of Defence was discussing possible plans for the “long term”.

Mr Shapps had said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that “eventually” he would like to get Britain’s long-standing training of Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops “in country” rather than in the UK.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said any British troops in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for the Kremlin’s forces.

Ukrainian volunteer recruits leave the parade ground after taking part in prayers, blessings and a one minute silence to mark the first anniversary of the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2023, during training in South East England. (Getty Images)

But, on a visit to Burnley ahead of the Tory party conference in Manchester, Mr Sunak said he wants to be “absolutely clear” about the situation following “some misreporting”.

He said Britain has been training Ukrainian citizens and soldiers “for a long time” within the UK.

“And what the Defence Secretary was saying was that it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine,” the Prime Minister said.

“But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now, there are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict. That’s not what’s happening. What we are doing is training Ukrainians. We’re doing that here in the UK.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.