Ukraine-Russia latest news: Johnson warns of ‘biggest war in Europe since 1945’

Car engulfed in flames following explosion at Donetsk gas station

Boris Johnson said that a war in Ukraine could be the “biggest in Europe since 1945”, in terms of size.

In a BBC interview, the prime minister said that he wanted people to “understand the sheer cost in human life” that an invasion of Ukraine would bring

Elsewhere, speaking at the Munich security conference, Mr Johnson warned that the world was at “the eleventh hour” to avert a conflict and said any invasion would encourage other countries to resort to military aggression.

His comments come as Vladimir Putin oversaw strategic nuclear exercises involving launches of ballistic missiles, in an apparent “show of strength”.

Western leaders in Munich said they wanted to continue dialogue with Russia, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz saying there were clear indications Russia was still open to diplomacy.

Speaking from Washington, Joe Biden said he was “convinced” Russian forces would launch an invasion “within days” beginning with an attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. He said he did not think Mr Putin was considering the use of nuclear force, despite tests.

Key Points

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US and British spies can’t be trusted on Ukraine, says Russian diplomat

The assessments of US and British spies on Ukraine should not be trusted as they made so many grave mistakes in the run up to the US-led invasion of Iraq, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations said on Sunday.

“We don’t trust the US and British intelligence, they let us down, the whole world, on many occasions enough to remember weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sky.

Mr Polyanskiy added that no one should try to tell Russia where it held military exercises on Russian territory.

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 10:40


Macron to speak to Putin on Sunday

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to speak to Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Sunday in a “last possible” bid to avert an invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Élysée presidential palace, Sunday’s conversation between the two leaders constitutes “the last possible and necessary effort to avoid a major conflict in Ukraine.”

This comes following Mr Macron’s 7 February with Mr Putin in Moscow.

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 10:35


Invasion of Ukraine ‘far more likely than unlikely’, says Europe minister

Invasion of Ukraine ‘far more likely than unlikely’, says Europe minister

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 10:20


Boris Johnson says ‘all the signs are’ that Russia has started with a plan to invade Ukraine

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, the Prime Minister said: “I’m afraid that is what the evidence points to, and there is no burnishing it, no hiding it.

“The fact is that all the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun.

“That’s what our American friends think and you’re seeing these provocations now in Donbas – these explosions and so on – that we’ve been warning about for a long time.”

The British Prime Minister went on to add that that Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin might not be thinking logically, and therefore any threat of sanctions on Russia by the West might not be enough to deter an invasion of Ukraine.

He said: “We have to accept at the moment that Vladimir Putin is possibly thinking illogically about this.”

Sanctions “may not be enough to deter an irrational actor and we have to accept at the moment that Vladimir Putin is possibly thinking illogically about this and doesn’t see the disaster ahead,” Mr Johnson told the BBC.

He added that said he was unable to “peer into the soul” of Mr Putin, and therefore couldn’t say when an or if an invasion of Ukraine might happen.

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 09:55


UK and US would seek to cut off Russian companies’ access to dollars and pounds should invasion of Ukraine take place

The United States and Britain would attempt to cut off Russian companies’ access to both US dollars and British pounds, if the Kremlin were to order an invasion of Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC.

“The plan that we are seeing is for something that could be really the biggest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of sheer scale,” Mr Johnson said.

Johnson said that any sanctions on Russia in the event of an invasion would go much further than previously suggested in public.

He said the both the UK and US would stop Russian companies from “trading in pounds and dollars,” a move that he said would “hit very very hard”, the BBC reported.

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 09:45


“We still don’t know what’s going to happen, I can’t look into the mind of Vladimir Putin, I can’t look into his soul,” says Mr Johnson.

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 09:39


Boris Johnson calls Vladimir Putin “irrational.”

He says that economic sanctions on Russia businesses “may not be enough to deter an irrational actor” who he says may not be thinking clearly.

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 09:38


“We’re making sure that we expose the ownership of companies, open up the Russia doll of property ownership, of company ownership in London.

“We’ve got to do it and it will hit very hard,” says Boris Johnson.

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 09:36


The UK will “support [Ukraine] to the extent that they can,” says Boris Johnson.

“We have to use the tools that we have, those tools are economic sanctions against Russia.”

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 09:34


Boris Johnson in an interview with BBC’s Sophie Rayworth

“What matters is the sovereignty and independence on Ukraine and ultimately that is still for Ukrainians to determine.”

Eleanor Sly20 February 2022 09:33

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