‘Should be talking more’ Britons on the street debate UK’s involvement in Ukraine war

Ukraine: Britons discuss their thoughts on the UK's involvement

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Local authority worker Darren told Express.co.uk that it would be a mistake to continue down this path.

He argued sanctions were fair game because Ukraine is “on the doorstep of Europe”, which is “our doorstep”, but described the idea of UK boots on the ground – which Mr Wallace’s remarks could be interpreted as being a step towards – as a “disaster”.

Darren added, jokingly: “There’s no Russian troops marching through Nottingham today.”

Pensioner Barbara Finch added that we “should not be involved as we are”.
She also agreed with the sanctioning of Moscow, but drew the line there, even opposing the sending of weapons to Ukraine.

Mrs Finch criticised mainstream media outlets for “sensationalising” the news around the war and “jumping on the band wagon” because “they want people to watch them”.

The sending of arms, in her view, only supported the notion that the “human race does not learn its lessons”.

Speaking of learning from the past, septuagenarian Stewart Crisp criticised the Government for not doing enough to help facilitate peace talks and cited the line attributed to Is Winston Churchill that “jaw jaw” is better than “war war”.

Mr Wallace today appeared sanguine about talks, referring again to military backing, by noting: “The position of the UK would be that it is for Ukraine to choose the manner and the level of its negotiations. It is Britain’s role to make sure they do that from a position of strength not weakness.”

But Mr Crisp suggested world leaders “should be talking more”.

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He argued Joe Biden should be spending more time at the negotiation table, though the US President appeared to snub the idea early in the war when he insisted Putin “cannot remain in power” at all.

President Macron is understood to have engaged with the Kremlin more than any other Western leader since the conflict started (and, indeed, before this time), though he has received criticism for this, even being branded, in some circles, as “Putin’s puppet”.

Pensioner Kath Charlton conceded the UK Government is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t ramp up its support for the Ukrainian military.

She said she could understand the view that the UK should not be getting too involved in the conflict, but added: “One minute you want to be the goody goody and the next you say ‘you better now’.”

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Nottingham transport worker Scott concluded, however, this was “not the biggest waste of money we’ve got going”.

He added that “what’s happening [in Ukraine] is a tragedy so something needs to be done”.

Overall, there was little optimism on the street that the war will be over any time soon.

A senior UK diplomat quoted by Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson in the Telegraph said “our strategic interest is probably best served in a long war [which could be facilitated through the provision of arms], a quagmire that drains [Putin] militarily and economically so he cannot do this again”.

Seventy-three year old Richie Elliot told Express.co.uk such a desire was a result of the increasing “Americanisation” of UK politics and follows from our involvement in other conflicts, including that in Iraq.

We are, he suggested, following in the footsteps of the US which “has got this dream of controlling everything”, but “the situation is just horrible”, especially “for young people” who are doing the fighting.

Mr Crisp added that he fears Ukraine will become a land of “ongoing warfare”, like Syria, where the UK has also been criticised for the shape of its involvement.

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