What the papers say – March 12

France’s leader has accused Britain of failing Ukraine’s war victims.

12 March 2022

Saturday’s front papers state that as the capital of Ukraine awaits further bombardment from Russia, the UK Government has been accused of not doing enough to help those fleeing the invasion.

The Times and i report on the situation in Kyiv as the city’s remaining residents await the “inevitable arrival of Russian tanks”. The latter adds the Kremlin’s forces are “systematically targeting people who try to escape (the) siege or find food supplies, leaving the streets littered with corpses”.

 The Independent adds Russia is widening its bombing campaign across Ukraine as cities in the country’s west come under attack for the first time in the war.

The Daily Telegraph carries former Tory foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt’s call for an increase to defence spending in response to Russia’s escalating aggression. He argues Britain must boost defence spending to the same level as the US, declaring the invasion of Ukraine “the biggest failure of Western foreign and security policy in our lifetimes”.

FT Weekend leads with the West’s tougher economic punishments on Moscow, reporting that G7 nations will end “normal trade relations with Russia” as part of a series of new measures. The joint step will include revoking Russia’s “most-favoured nation” status which allows it to trade goods on preferential terms with many western countries.

“Putin’s plot to blackmail the world”, says the Daily Express splash, reporting that the Russian president is planning a “terror attack” on the Russian-held power plant Chernobyl and blaming it on Ukraine “to hold the world to ransom”.

The Guardian writes that French President Emmanuel Macron has accused Britain of failing to live up to its claim to be leading the world in helping war victims. The French leader said that by insisting visa applications to the UK be made in person in Brussels and Paris, the British Government imposed additional misery on desperate men, women and children.

The Daily Mirror also carries the photo of a young woman who had to flee the bombarded hospital while heavily pregnant just before giving birth to a baby girl. The paper accompanies the story with the headline: “Hope amid horror.”

The front page of the Daily Star reads “not now North Korea & India!” in reference to the nations firing missiles as the “world goes to hell in a handcart”.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports the Queen has cancelled plans to attend an event – sparking concerns over her health.

The Sun also focuses on royal gossip, writing the Duke of Sussex will not be attending a memorial service for his grandfather.

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