Russia 'Starting to Fail' in Ukraine War as Heavy Losses Mount: Wallace

Ben Wallace, the U.K.'s defense minister, said Russian President Vladimir Putin's war effort in Ukraine is "starting to fail in many areas" and Russia will never fully occupy the country after seeing heavy losses in equipment and troops.

Wallace made the comments Thursday to reporters at an international donors conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Western nations pledged sustained military aid for Ukraine. Over five months into the war, Wallace said Putin has lost his gamble that Western nations would tire of backing Ukraine. Instead, Wallace said, "Our appetite is increasing towards helping Ukraine."

Denmark's Defense Minister Morten Bodskov announced at the conference that 26 countries agreed to donate 1.5 billion euros in military assistance to Ukraine.

Ben Wallace at Conference
British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said that Russia is failing in its invasion of Ukraine. Above, Wallace speaks at the closing press statement after co-hosting a donor conference, on August 11, 2022, at Christiansborg in Copenhagen, Denmark. PHILIP DAVALI/Getty Images

Already, the European Union has donated 2 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine. That's on top of the 2.3 billion pounds the U.K. has given and the $9.8 billion from the U.S.

Despite the already generous support, Wallace said the renewed commitment demonstrated that the international community was steadfast in thwarting what he called "Putin's ambitions in Ukraine." He said that determination is paying off.

"(Russian forces) have failed so far, and are unlikely to ever succeed in occupying Ukraine," he said. "Their invasion has faltered and constantly been re-modified to the extent they are really only focusing in parts of the south and in the east."

Wallace said that's "a long, long way away" from the three-day operation originally planned by the Kremlin to overwhelm Ukraine's government in Kyiv. After initial setbacks, Russian forces have turned their attention to Ukraine's south along the Black Sea coast near the occupied Crimean peninsula. Additionally, Russian forces have made gains in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

The number of Russian military personnel killed or wounded in the war has remained imprecise, but the Pentagon estimates that Russia has seen 70,000 to 80,000 casualties in less than six months.

Equipped with advanced Western weapons, Ukraine's military has reported success in striking Russian military targets as it makes a push to reclaim occupied land near the southern city of Kherson.

Speaking at the conference, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said he couldn't disclose details on how the military support would be used but said he was pleased with the agreement reached with donor countries on long-term support.

"I am glad that we all have common sense that there is no time for fatigue," he said.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.