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Live Reporting

Edited by James FitzGerald

All times stated are UK

  1. What's the latest?

    British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace pictured with his Nato counterparts

    We're pausing our Ukraine coverage for the time being - but here's a look back at what's been happening so far this morning.

    A meeting of Nato defence ministers is under way in Brussels for a second day, with Western allies discussing how they can bolster Ukraine's defences against Russian forces.

    • Russia's failing strategy: Speaking to the BBC before heading into the Nato talks, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Russia had not been able to "punch through" Ukraine's defences, and that 97% of its army was estimated to be in Ukraine
    • No fighter jets: Wallace said the UK would not send fighter jets to Ukraine any time soon. He said the focus was on ensuring Kyiv's long-term resilience
    • Staying put: The defence secretary was also forced to deny reports that he had threatened to resign if the UK's defence spending was not increased
    • Tanks top agenda: Ukraine's defence minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted last night that he expected tanks to be a major talking point among Nato allies today
    • Ammo dominates talks too: And we briefly heard from Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg. He gave a quick run through of what the alliance will discuss - including defence spending plans and increasing the production of armaments and ammunition
  2. Chances of war ending this year pretty slim - think tank

    The war in Ukraine will “likely” continue into at least next year, according to a UK defence and security think tank.

    As the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion approaches, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), says the West needs to support a counter-offensive from Ukraine in the coming months.

    This is to ensure that Kyiv is “well placed to fight a long war, because the chances of this war finishing this year are pretty slim”, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier.

    Neither Ukraine nor Russia have an advantage over the other at the moment, he says. He adds that reports that Western intelligence shows Russia is massing aircraft within striking distance of Ukraine are a concern, but not an emergency.

    Looking at Russian gains, he says: “It doesn't look anything like the large-scale capture of Ukrainian territory which we saw in the initial phases of the invasion, not least because Ukrainians are now mobilised and prepared and fighting very hard for their own territory."

    “It's also the case that Russia is losing a lot of people and a lot of equipment and there is a real question about how far they can sustain an offensive for a long period.”

    Map showing the areas under Russian control in Ukraine. Russia controls an eastern swathe but Ukraine has taken back territory in the south and the north-east
  3. Wallace denies threatening to resign over defence budget

    File photo of Ben Wallace

    This morning's broadcast round from the defence secretary saw Ben Wallace forced to deny reports that he's threatened to resign if the UK's defence spending is not increased.

    Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme whether he wanted to see the defence budget increase in the long term, he said: "Yes, and I'm not the only one." The prime minister and chancellor "recognised" the need based on the "direction of travel" in geopolitics, he said.

    Appearing on Sky News, he said the most important thing was for him to present a "good case" to his colleagues. He said: "This is not about resigning or anything else: it's about delivering defence to meet the threat."

    He admitted that negotiations with the Treasury were "always an uphill battle" and that he would try to "come to a deal" with the chancellor before the budget next month.

    Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Wallace dismissed reports in German media that Germany had been asked to remain in charge of the Nato Response Force for an extra year because of concerns about depleting British reserves.

    He dismissed the claims as "just bollocks", saying the UK would take over "as scheduled".

  4. Family pay tribute to British man killed in Ukraine

    Jonathan Shenkin

    A British man killed in Ukraine has been named by friends and family as Jonathan Shenkin, from Glasgow.

    A family tribute on social media said the 45-year-old "died as a hero in an act of bravery as a paramedic".

    “On enlisting in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he made the ultimate sacrifice to defend values we all believe in," they wrote.

    The statement a added that the father-of-two “spent much of his life helping others”.

    He is one of eight British men known to have died in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began last year. Many volunteer fighters and aid workers have travelled to the country from the UK.

    The Foreign Office said it was supporting the man's family.

  5. Ammo supplies for Ukraine on today's agenda

    Jens Stoltenberg addresses a Nato meeting

    Stoltenberg begins his brief public address by once again lambasting the Russian invasion - describing it as a major security threat - and by hailing the "unprecedented assistance" offered to Ukraine by Nato.

    He gives a brief rundown of what his alliance will discuss today - including plans to look at defence planning, and increasing the production of armaments and ammunition.

    Members will also discuss stepping up defence spending across the alliance, he says.

    The cameras are then asked to cut away.

  6. Nato chief addresses meeting

    We're getting a few more publicly-broadcast comments from Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of Nato.

    The military alliance of Western nations is meeting for a second day in Brussels to discuss support for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

  7. Tanks expected to be discussed

    Defence ministers meet at a Nato summit in Brussels

    Back to Brussels, where we're watching a live feed of defence ministers convening for a meeting on the subject of support for Ukraine.

    The supply of tanks to Ukraine is expected to be high on the agenda, following a tweet late last night from the Ukrainian defence minister.

    Yesterday, Norway specified that it would supply eight German-made Leopard 2 tanks. It had earlier committed to delivering the vehicles without giving a number.

    Last month, Germany confirmed it would send 14 Leopard 2s after weeks of pressure from its Nato allies. The UK had earlier said it would send 14 British-made Challenger 2 tanks.

  8. 'The world is on a trajectory of greater threat'

    Asked whether he thinks the UK needs to boost its military spending in the longer-term, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says that the world has become a "much more dangerous and unstable" place.

    "The ripples travel far out from Ukraine," he says. "We see a more assertive China. We see a more assertive al-Qaeda, the al-Shabaab group in east Africa. Radicalisation and Islamist extremism is running pretty fast and wide across Africa at the moment.

    "So the world is on a trajectory of greater threat."

    He adds that the war in Ukraine has exposed the "cost of hollowing out" defence budgets across Europe since the end of the Cold War.

  9. Helping Ukraine helps our security at home - Wallace

    Asked whether he is concerned that Britain's support for Ukraine is coming at too high a cost for the UK's own military capability, Wallace says the two interests are not "mutually exclusive".

    "Helping Ukraine defeat Russia in Ukraine actually adds to our own security at home," he says.

    "If 97% of the Russian army is now committed to Ukraine, with an attrition rate very, very high, and potentially their combat effectiveness depleted by 40%, and nearly two thirds of their tanks destroyed or broken, that has a direct impact on the security of Europe."

  10. We need to consider Ukraine's long-term resilience - UK defence secretary

    Wallace is asked now about Ukraine's plea for fighter jets.

    In his response, he says the international community has provided Ukraine with thousands of surface-to-air missiles, drones and longer range missiles.

    These weapon systems have the "same effects", he says.

    "The point is right now, how do we help Ukraine help itself and gather enough to make Russia's advances also impossible?" he says.

    Wallace speaks about the long-term resilience of Ukraine, and says if the government was to gift fighter jets, it would also have to provide about 200 RAF personnel.

  11. 'First World War levels of attrition'

    More from Wallace, on the tactics he's seen from Moscow.

    He tells Nick Robinson: "I think what Russia is doing in trying to advance, it's doing in a sort of human way, almost First World War levels of attrition and with success rates of a matter of metres rather than kilometres."

    Wallace goes on to say that the "biggest unknown" is what happens when you have Russian leaders who either have "a gap in reality" or "no regard for human life of [Russia's] own".

  12. Wallace: 97% of entire Russian army in Ukraine

    We're hearing from UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace again now, who is in Brussels for today's Nato meeting on how the military alliance can further help Ukraine.

    He begins by discussing Moscow's offensive strategy, saying that Russia has not been able to amass a single force "to punch through" Ukraine's defences. Rather, "we've just seen an effort to advance".

    He tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "That has come at a huge cost to the Russian army. We now estimate 97% of the Russian army, the whole Russian army, is in Ukraine."

  13. UK's focus on Kyiv's long-term defence, not jets - Wallace

    Ben Wallace on BBC Breakfast

    Following that update from the UK's Ministry of Defence, a word from the man in charge of that department.

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says that the UK will not be sending fighter jets to Ukraine any time soon, and that the focus will be ensuring that Kyiv can defend itself in the long run.

    Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Western allies to provide fighter jets and arms for the war against Russia.

    "I don't think it's going to be in the next few months or even years that we are going to necessarily hand over fighter jets," Wallace tells BBC Breakfast, citing practical issues.

    "We have to plan not only for the fight at the moment, where we help Ukraine through seeing off Russia's illegal invasion, but we have to help Ukraine with its long-term resilience."

    We'll be hearing more from him on BBC Radio 4 shortly - listen live to the Today programme here.

  14. 'Critical weakness' in Russian military output - UK

    Today's discussion of support for Ukraine comes with Russian military industry output "almost certainly falling short" of the levels demanded by its war, becoming a "critical weakness", according to UK intelligence.

    In its daily update, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) says senior Russian leaders were "likely aware" of the fact. The update comes after a number of recent occasions on which President Putin has publicly called on the defence industry to better support the war.

    View more on twitter
  15. Tanks top agenda as allies meet

    Jens Stoltenberg
    Image caption: Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg is due to speak again later

    Nato defence ministers are meeting again in Brussels today to discuss how Western allies can bolster Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion.

    Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov says he expects that today's schedule in the Belgian capital "will be full", with a discussion of tanks on the agenda.

    We're expecting further remarks from Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of Nato, who yesterday warned there were "no signs" of Russia's President Putin preparing for peace.

    Today's talks are happening after an appeal of urgency from President Volodymyr Zelensky, who yesterday called for speed in military provisions from the West.

    "Speed is very important. Speed in everything. In decision-making. In the implementation of decisions. In delivery. In training. Speed saves lives, speed brings back safety," he said last night.

    We'll also be hearing from the UK's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace shortly, who's speaking to BBC outlets - including Radio 4's Today programme at about 08:10 GMT.

  16. Nato defence ministers meet for second day

    The Ukrainian defence minister shows off a handkerchief with an image of fighter jets on it
    Image caption: Yesterday, the Ukrainian defence minister showed off a handkerchief with an image of fighter jets on it

    Good morning from Christy, Marita and James in London - and welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

    We’ll be bringing you updates from the second day of the Nato defence ministers' summit in Brussels, as well as a BBC interview with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and all the latest on the conflict itself.

    But first, here’s a quick rundown of what happened yesterday:

    • US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said he expected Ukraine to launch a spring offensive and called on Nato members to “intensify” their support.
    • Austin also said he saw no evidence that Russia was “massing its aircraft for some massive aerial attack”, as reports had suggested
    • Mark Milley, America’s most senior general, said Russia had already "lost [the war] strategically, operationally, and tactically"
    • Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin wasn't preparing for peace, but instead for "more war". He said conflict the war was becoming a "war of logistics" and called on allies to keep up their supplies of ammunition
    • German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said helping Ukraine maintain its air defences and ammunition stocks were "much more important at the moment” than the supply of fighter jets
    • Moscow condemned the meeting, accusing Nato of being an organisation that was “hostile to us and which proves this hostility every day”
  17. Thanks for joining us

    That's all from us for now - but you can get more updates here following the announcement that another British man has died in Ukraine.

    Today's live coverage was brought to you by Jasmine Andersson, Emily McGarvey, Krystyna Gajda, Sam Hancock, James Harness, Kathryn Armstrong and Jamie Whitehead. The page was edited by Rob Corp and James FitzGerald.

  18. What's happened today?

    Jens Stoltenberg bangs a gavel during an address at a Nato summit in Brussels

    We’re pausing our live coverage of Nato's response to the war in Ukraine - thank you for joining us.

    Before we go, let’s take a quick look at what’s been happening during the alliance's latest meeting on support for Kyiv - and what's been going on at the front line, too.

    • Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said he saw "no signs" of President Vladimir Putin preparing for peace, and that the Russian leader instead wanted "more war"
    • Stoltenberg also warned of a shortage of ammunition on the front line, and said Ukraine needed everything that had been been promised by its allies
    • The US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin called on Nato's members to “intensify” their assistance for Ukraine while Russia attempted to “wait us out”
    • He later said he had not seen signs that Russia was massing its aircraft for a big aerial attack, as reports have suggested, but that he was expecting Kyiv to launch its own offensive in the spring
    • America’s top general Mark Milley also hit out at Russia, saying it had lost the war “strategically, operationally and tactically”
    • Moscow condemned the Nato meeting - accusing the alliance of being "hostile to us... every day"
    • On the front line, territory around the eastern town of Bakhmut remains under strain, with Russian forces slowly taking ground
    • A British man has died in Ukraine - the eighth since Russia's invasion almost a year ago - said the UK Foreign Office, which added that it was supporting his family
  19. Ukrainians celebrate love as war rages on

    Say what you like about Valentine's Day - whether you find it all a bit commercial, or see it as a genuine celebration of love.

    But for these people in the capital Kyiv, as well Lviv - the biggest city in western Ukraine - the occasion appears to have provided a dose of normality during the nearly year-long war.

    A man buys flowers at a market on Valentine's Day in Lviv
    Image caption: One man bought roses at a flower market
    A woman walks with heart-shaped balloons on a street in Lviv
    Image caption: Lviv residents smiled as they celebrated the occasion in the city
    A man sells balloons in the shape of red hearts along a street on Valentine's Day in Kyiv
    Image caption: The occasion provided a sense of normality, with heart-shaped balloons sold in the streets of Kyiv
  20. Ukrainians left without water by Russia - PM

    Satellite image of Kakhovka Dam
    Image caption: Kakhovka Dam pictured last October

    Ukraine is accusing Russia of trying to deprive it of drinking water, and of endangering Europe's largest nuclear plant in the process.

    Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says Russian troops have been opening the sluice gates of the huge Kakhovka Dam on the Dnipro River, which they control.

    That's caused the Kakhovka Reservoir to lose thousands of cubic metres of water every day, leaving settlements which rely on Dnipro without drinking water.

    Shmyhal warns that falling reservoir levels could also threaten the normal operation of the cooling system for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.