Amid the to-ing and fro-ing of world leaders and diplomats between Moscow and other European capitals last month, one visit particularly stood out, writes Ed Malnick.
Striding across the polished floors of Russia’s ministry of defence, Ben Wallace, the UK’s Defence Secretary, was pictured grim-faced in conversation with Sergei Shoigu, his counterpart in Vladimir Putin’s government.
Behind them, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the recently-installed chief of the defence staff, and General Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s chief of the general staff, walked side-by-side in their respective military dress.
Supplementing the more customary visits from diplomats and foreign ministers, Mr Wallace, a former captain in the Scots Guards, wanted to deliver a specific message to the minister and military chief in charge of Russia’s armed forces.
“I managed to say to Shoigu and Gerasimov, the Ukrainians will fight and we will sanction you,” Mr Wallace said in an interview with The Telegraph, almost a month after his trip.
Read the full interview here