British prime minister Boris Johnson has warned that evidence suggests that Vladimir Putin is planning ‘the biggest war in Europe since 1945’ and there were already signs that the plan has ‘in some senses’ begun’.
Johnson said that intelligence indicates that Russia intends to launch an attack coming down from Belarus to surround Ukraine’s capital city Kiev.
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During a security conference in Munich, the PM added that: ‘The plan that we’re seeing is for something that could be the biggest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of sheer scale’ He also warned warned that Putin would face decades of ‘bloodshed and misery’ if his troops invade Ukraine.
Mr Johnson also said that people needed to understand ‘the sheer cost in human life’ that such an invasion could ‘entail’, both for Ukrainians and Russians.
He added: ‘All the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun.’
His stark warning came after he warned an invasion of Ukraine appear to be ‘in motion’ and could cause ‘the destruction of a democratic state’ and ‘the shock will echo around the world’.
The Prime Minister said that aggression in separatist-held areas in the east of Ukraine had the potential be a ‘prelude to bigger action’, with the West fearing a so-called ‘false flag’ operation that could give Moscow cover to wage war on Kiev.
Mr Johnson made the comments to broadcasters following his speech to the Munich Security Conference, where he is meeting world leaders to discuss the tension in eastern Europe.
Speaking at the summit today, Mr Johnson said the ‘omens are grim’ from Russia on the possibility of an invasion in the coming days, and that the world could not ‘underestimate the gravity of this moment’.
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