Vladimir Putin Is Bent On 'Catastrophic' Full Scale Invasion Of Ukraine, Boris Johnson Warns

The prime minister said Russia had broken international law and would now face serious economic sanctions.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson
WPA Pool via Getty Images

Vladimir Putin is bent on a “catastrophic” full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Boris Johnson has warned as he vowed to immediately introduce economic sanctions against Russia.

The prime minister said that the Russian president had “completely torn up international law” and is apparently intent on capturing the capital of Kyiv.

It comes after Moscow ordered troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, claiming they are carrying out “peacekeeping” duties.

Yesterday Putin signed a decree on recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the Donbas as independent states.

Johnson, who chaired an early morning emergency meeting of the Cobra committee, confirmed he would later reveal sanctions against entities in Russia and the Donbas.

Johnson said it would be a “barrage” of economic sanctions and warned they expected more “Russian irrational behaviour” to come.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow, Russia last night.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow, Russia last night.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

He told broadcasters: “I’m afraid all the evidence is that president Putin is indeed bent on a full-scale invasion of the Ukraine, the overrunning, the subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country and I think, let’s be absolutely clear, that will be absolutely catastrophic.”

The PM said if the Russian president continues on the path to “encircling Kyiv” and “capturing” the Ukrainian capital then it is vital his efforts should “fail”.

The Cobra meeting followed an emergency session of the UN Security Council where the UK’s ambassador, Dame Barbara Woodward, warned Russia had “brought us to the brink”.

She said an invasion would unleash “the forces of war, death and destruction” on the people of Ukraine.

Cabinet minister Sajid Javid compared the situation to the Cuban Missile Crisis at the height of the Cold War, telling the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “It is not too late for him to step back and bring his troops back into Russia and open dialogue.”

Ukraine is not a member of Nato, but Javid made clear if Russia does carry on and invade one of the alliance’s eastern states, there will be war.

Labour’s shadow defence secretary John Healey said Putin “won’t stop at Ukraine” and the West was unified in understanding Putin’s invasion as an “attack on democracy”.

Johnson is expected to take part in calls with other world leaders and is set to update MPs on the sanctions package at around 12.30pm.

He told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last night that he would “explore sending further defensive support to Ukraine”.

Zelensky told his nation “we are not afraid of anyone” after Russia recognised the independence of the separatist regions.

The European Union and United States were also imposing sanctions in response to the crisis.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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