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UK orders audit of Ukraine aid – BBC

PM Sunak wants a “Goldman Sachs dashboard” report on the conflict, sources tell state TV

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has requested a “data-driven assessment” of the situation in Ukraine, a Whitehall source told BBC Newsnight on Friday, prompting fears that London might slow or stop the flow of supplies to Kiev.

The state broadcaster’s unnamed source said the “Goldman Sachs dashboard” examination of the conflict would look at how Ukraine has been using the military supplies provided by the UK. 

This is about looking at what we have put in, what we have got out,” the source said.

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Wars aren’t won [by dashboards]. Wars are won on instinct. At the start of this it was Boris [Johnson] sitting down and saying: ‘Let’s just go for this.’ So Rishi needs to channel his inner Boris on foreign policy, though not of course on anything else,” the source added.

Sunak has been PM since late October, replacing Liz Truss after just 50 days at 10 Downing Street. Before he was ousted by his own party in September, Johnson had been a hawk on Ukraine and even traveled to Kiev in April to dissuade President Vladimir Zelensky from making peace with Russia, according to Ukrainian media.

Zelensky “has been talking to Rishi. He is trying to inspire him, saying the UK are the great liberators, the great fighters. ‘We need you. Rise to that’,” the Whitehall source told the BBC.

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File photo: US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan
Time for Ukraine talks ‘not right now’ – White House

British intelligence and “key figures in Whitehall” believe Russia has “effectively run out” of supplies. Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the chief of the defense staff, told the Royal United Services Institute earlier this week that “Russia is losing” and that the “free world” has “real victory within our grasp.” 

Ukraine relies entirely on the US and its allies for its military needs. Its chief of general staff, General Valery Zaluzhny, told the Economist his army needed at least 300 tanks and 700 infantry armored vehicles – more than what the British Army is currently fielding, by way of example. Even as London and Washington continue to send convoys of weapons to Ukraine, ignoring Moscow’s warnings, they insist they are not parties to the conflict.

According to the BBC’s source, this is due to the UK pressuring US President Joe Biden into acting more forcefully on Ukraine. 

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“We have stiffened the US resolve at all levels – pressure from us but always friendly,” the unnamed Whitehall official said. “We don’t want Rishi to reinforce Biden’s caution. We want him to push, in the way Boris did.”

December 17, 2022 at 03:26AM
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