During remembrance week the government launched the first ever UK-wide survey for veterans and their families – as we continue to improve support for veterans in their civilian lives. Just as our armed forces have stood by our country in times of need, we must continue to do our bit and support veterans in their civilian lives. That is why we launched the first-ever UK-wide survey for veterans and their families, ensuring we better understand the unique challenges faced by veterans and giving them the opportunity to shape the future of public services. We are committed to making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran – giving veterans every chance to thrive in the workforce and prosper in civilian life. The survey can be found by visiting the Office of National Statistics website or my social media page with direct links. I marked Remembrance Day in Westminster and the constituency, by visiting the garden of remembrance at Westminster Palace and making an offering of respect on behalf of the people from North Cornwall who were killed in action during the Falklands War in 1982 - Andrew Keith Palmer Petty Officer, Royal Navy. Killed in Action, HMS Ardent, 21/5/82, and Private Mark Holman-Smith 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. Killed in Action at the Battle of Goose Green. 28/5/82. I also attended the two-minute silence in Wadebridge, laid a wreath at Bodmin keep and attended a service at Camelford. I was also honoured to be part of GWR's Poppies to Paddington event along with other representatives from North Cornwall. The wreath was carried with dignity on the train to Paddington, where it was ceremoniously placed at the War Memorial on Platform 1 along with dozens of other wreaths from across the GWR network.
While we remember past wars, we must not forget that a terrible war rages in Europe. Our sanctions on Russia have now topped £18 billion for the first time – as we continue to crack down on individuals propping up Putin’s military effort. Putin continues to rely on his cabal of elites to maintain control of his industrial complex and fuel his illegal war in Ukraine. That is why, alongside our allies, we have imposed the most severe set of sanctions Russia has ever faced – sanctioning more than 1,200 individuals, over 120 entities and freezing the assets of 19 banks with global assets of £940 billion to cripple Putin’s war machine. We continue to lead the world in supporting the people of Ukraine, targeting all those who aid and abet Putin’s illegal war to ensure Ukraine ultimately prevails. The sanctions are having a profound effect on the Russian economy and the ability of Russia’s industrial base to produce the type of high-tech weapons systems they require to maintain their efforts in Ukraine. Whilst this is a good thing, it may mean the Russian army resorts to further indiscriminate shelling as it attempts to intimidate the Ukrainian population.