Boris Johnson Warns Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Would Be “Disastrous” And “Bloody”
Boris Johnson has issued a warning to Russian president Vladimir Putin that invading Ukraine would result in a “painful, violent and bloody” conflict.
The Prime Minister compared the prospect of violence to a “new Chechnya”, referencing the Chechen-Russian conflict that lasted over two decades.
His comments accompany growing tensions in the region as Russian troops have massed at the border with Ukraine, a move which has attracted strong international condemnation. Russia has denied plans for military action.
The UK has taken the decision to withdraw some staff from their embassies in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as the prospect of conflict grows, while the US has advised that relatives of diplomatic officials should leave the country as an invasion could come "at any time".
“The intelligence is very clear that there are 60 Russian battle groups on the borders of Ukraine, the plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv is one that everybody can see," Johnson said on Mondayduring a visit to a hospital in Milton Keynes.
“We need to make it very clear to the Kremlin, to Russia, that that would be a disastrous step.”
He added: “We need to get over the message that invading Ukraine, from a Russian perspective, is going to be a painful, violent and bloody business.”
Johnson said that he believed the people of Ukraine “will fight” an attempted invasion, and that he hoped “they understand that in the Kremlin”.
“It’s the job of the UK to make sure our friends and partners around the world, particularly in Europe, also understand that, and we get ready a tough enough package of sanctions.”
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said the UK was “working with our NATO allies and others” in response to the situation and that “we are united in making clear this would be a massive strategic mistake with significant consequences”.
The UK is understood to be supplying defensive weapons to Ukraine, and currently “a small number of infantry troops are deployed already to help with training” in relation to the “new defensive capabilities we've provided.
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