Russia Plans ‘Lightning War’ Over Ukraine Invasion, Boris Johnson Says
Boris Johnson has spoken out about Russia potentially invading Ukraine amid growing tension at the border.
Johnson has said that the potential invasion would be a 'disastrous step' and that intelligence information suggests Russia is planning a 'lightening raid' on Kyiv. Russia is currently denying these claims.
The situation at Ukraine's border has escalated after 100,000 Russian troops were stationed around the border, with NATO, the European Union and the US considering next steps.
Johnson has now spoken about the developing situation.
He said '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'.
The prime minister added that 'we need to make it very clear to the Kremlin, to Russia, that that would be a disastrous step'.
Earlier today, January 24, NATO said forces have been put on standby in response to Russia's increasing military presence at Ukraine's borders.
While Moscow denies any plans to invade, NATO is now reportedly on standby with ships and fighter jets.
Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of the Western military alliance, said 'I welcome allies contributing additional forces to NATO' in response to the developing situation.
Stoltenberg continued to add that the situation was being taken seriously by NATO and that '[it] will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the alliance'.
The effort comes after the UK withdrew staff and dependents from its embassy in Ukraine. The US is also said to be ordering diplomats' family members to leave and that diplomats at the embassy in Kyiv were allowed to leave voluntarily.
According to the US embassy, 'military action by Russia could come at any time' and officials 'will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency, so US citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly'.
Currently, there is said to be an estimated 100,000 Russian troops near the Ukraine border, with the US saying any movement over the border would be treated as an invasion.
President Joe Biden is reportedly now weighing up the decision to deploy several thousand US troops, along with warships and aircrafts to NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.
In an interview with CBS, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said of the matter, 'even as we’re engaged in diplomacy, we are very much focused on building up defense, building up deterrence'.
Blinken went on to add that 'NATO itself will continue to be reinforced in a significant way if Russia commits renewed acts of aggression. All of that is on the table'.
No decisions have yet been made and no military options currently include deploying additional US troops to Ukraine itself.
However, Biden did say at a news conference last week that he would send troops to the surrounding regions who are 'part of NATO' if the situation continues to escalate.
'We’re going to actually increase troop presence in Poland, in Romania, et cetera, if in fact he moves', he said.
Ukraine is not currently part of NATO but has been promised to be allowed to join one day - a promise Russia is demanding NATO withdraws.
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