By Adam Durbin
BBC News

Image source, EPA

Image caption,

Ukrainian soldiers stand in the aftermath of overnight shelling at a checkpoint near Kyiv

It is not too late for Vladimir Putin to end his invasion of Ukraine, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Wallace said Mr Putin was risking his nation being isolated for decades to come if he did not withdraw troops.

He also said thermobaric weapons had been deployed, and he worried how far Russia would go in the future.

Meanwhile, the foreign secretary said Russia’s economy must be “crippled” to stop it from funding Mr Putin’s war.

Speaking in Lithuania, Liz Truss said all Russian banks should be banned from using Swift, an international payment system, and Europe should reduce its dependency on oil and gas from the country.

A week after Russia invaded Ukraine, attacks are intensifying.

The southern port of Kherson has become the first major city to fall and loud explosions have been heard in the capital, Kyiv.

The mayor of Mariupol, a strategic port near the Russian border, says Russian forces are attempting to blockade the city, with residents trapped by intense shelling.

An investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine has been launched by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has accused the Russian leader of war crimes, with the country reporting more than 2,000 civilian deaths since the invasion began last Thursday. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also accused Mr Putin of war crimes.

Russia attacks Ukraine: More coverage

At a news conference in the Estonia capital, Tallinn, following a meeting with Nato allies, Mr Wallace said: “The consequences of what we are seeing in Ukraine will ripple through Europe and Nato for not just weeks, but months and years to come.”

He said it was unknown what kind of weapons Mr Putin was willing to use, but added that “massive amounts” of artillery had been deployed to Ukraine, as well as controversial thermobaric weapons.

These weapons – also known as “vacuum bombs” – are much more devastating than conventional explosives of a similar size – they create a massive blast wave and a vacuum that sucks up all surrounding oxygen, killing or injuring people in its path.

Mr Wallace said there was concern about how far the Russian military would go with weapons in the future – and it would be difficult for the international community to engage with Mr Putin in the long-term after his attack on a sovereign country “at huge scale, inflicting huge damage and violence”.

The idea of a “normal relationship” with the Russian government would be almost impossible “unless President Putin chooses to cease what he is doing now”, he added.

The defence secretary says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a united response in Europe that President Putin failed to predict.

You can certainly see and feel it in the capital of Estonia. Public buildings and squares in Tallinn have been lit up with the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Officials wear gold ribbons in a show of solidarity. But it’s much more than that.

Estonia and Denmark, the two countries Mr Wallace is visiting, are both supplying weapons to Ukraine.

The UK has done the same and says it is helping to “facilitate” those deliveries – though British officials are not giving any details of how.

Denmark, like the UK, also contributes to the Nato military force that has been established in Estonia.

That specific force was first set up to act as a deterrent following Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, and to reassure an ally.

Britain has now doubled the number of its troops in Estonia in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

President Putin was warned that this was likely to be one of the consequences of invading Ukraine – more Nato, not less on Russia’s border.

After meeting her Baltic counterparts in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, Ms Truss said tackling Russian aggression was a battle for “our freedom and security”.

The West must go further in its sanctions on Russian banks and reduce its dependence on the country for energy supplies, she added.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are members of Nato – unlike Ukraine – having joined after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Media caption,

The UK’s commitment to Baltic states is unyielding, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says

Ms Truss said the West needed to get the information to the Russian people about what was “actually happening” in Ukraine, in light of the false reporting on Russian state-owned media.

“And we need to make sure that the Russian economy is crippled so it is unable to continue to fund Putin and the war machine. And I suspect that the Russian people will draw their own conclusions from that.”

She added she did not believe Mr Putin “speaks on behalf of Russian people” and the world had witnessed scenes of “very brave people” protesting against his regime at home.

Other British ministers have also been meeting international allies to discuss what further economic and cultural sanctions could be taken against Moscow.

At a summit of global sports ministers, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is due to try to mobilise more support to isolate Moscow.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed the UK has this week sent three planes with 320,000 medical items to help people in Ukraine.

He said Britain would do whatever was needed for as long as was necessary to help Ukrainians at home, in neighbouring countries or in the UK, and that the government’s overall aid package would rise to at least £220m.

Media caption,

Watch: Health Secretary Sajid Javid on what the UK is doing to help Ukraine