Concerns about a UKRAINE invasion reached a dangerous new high yesterday as Moscow made it clear that it is not concerned with pressure from the rest of the World.
Footage is displayed a swarm of attack helicopters at the same site where pro-Russian forces in 2014 launched an attack on the besieged neighboring country.
And Viktor Tatarintsev, the Kremlin’s ambassador to Sweden, said: “The more the West presses on Russia, the stronger Russia’s response will be.
“Sorry for my language but we’re not out at word on all of their sanctions – they’ve had a positive impact on our economy and agriculture.”
Boris Johnson will launch a new diplomatic strike this week aimed at stopping military action amid warnings that President Vladimir Putin could order a strike “at any time”.
Helicopters are gathering in Russia’s western region of Belgorod, just 19 kilometers from the border – with Russian tanks, artillery and missile batteries at Veseleya Lopan, just nine kilometers from Ukraine.
Tension also appeared for the first time yesterday on the streets of the capital Kievwhere the stoic locals went on with their lives undaunted by the growing threat from their neighbours.
Groups of uniformed soldiers appeared and politicians suggested martial law could be discussed at a top-level meeting today.
Growing chaos and uncertainty are in the hands of Mr. Putin, who continues to bolster his forces while insisting there are no plans for an invasion.
Paul Beaver, a respected British defense analyst, said: “The puppet master Putin is in his element. He’s got the world’s attention and he’s completely in control of the situation, knowing that whatever he does next he can’t lose.
“There are enough military assets to show off force if he wants to look tough.
“But if he chooses to do nothing, he can say, ‘I’ve told you so far I won’t trespass’.
“Without firing a shot, he was able to claim victory because he exposed the weakness and division of the Nato alliance.”
Multiple video evidence shows Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army arriving at the Maslovka station, also near Ukraine, with the Msta-S self-propelled howitzer, T-80U tank, seen on the trains.
The attack helicopter fleet includes Ka-52 Alligators, Mi-8 and Mi-24 gunboats in Nizhny Novgorod, Tver, Ulyanovsk and Yaroslavl.
There are also about 140,000 troops on Russia’s southern and eastern borders with thousands more in Belarus in northern Ukraine.
Russia’s independent conflict intelligence team said: “We certainly cannot rule out the construction of this strike force as nothing more than an infidel.
“But even if this is the case, it is clearly working. What we saw on the ground was nothing more than a real preparation for an invasion.”
Russia’s latest military moves come after President Joe Biden warned Putin of “severe and rapid costs” after US intelligence suggested Russia would invade Ukraine on Wednesday.
American spies claimed to have seen the operational plans of the routes that the Russian units would take and their roles.
The bloody conflict erupted after a 62-minute phone call between the two presidents ended in a stalemate.
The US believes that air, rail and road traffic will likely be targeted, along with its electricity grid.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace cut the holiday half an hour after takeoff amid fears that war could start at any moment.
Unlike Dominic Raab – the sacked Foreign Secretary, who refused to return home from Greece when the Taliban took Kabul – Mr. Wallace turned back less than a day for his family to part.
The former Scottish Guardsman, who will attend a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels in the coming days, insists the Kremlin can never endure sanctions and pariah.
He said an invasion was “very likely” and poured scorn on those who naively thought Mr. Putin would suddenly change hearts.
Mr. Wallace added: “Maybe Putin just shuts down his tanks and we all go home, but there’s a breeze in Munich from some of the West.”
He added that any war in Ukraine would trigger a major refugee crisis in Europe.
He then clarified his comparison with the current diplomatic boom and Munich – referring to Western countries trying to appease Adolf Hitler before World War II – by saying that his remarks he did not criticize allies.
CRISIS CRISIS CRISIS
He insisted it was a silly comment aimed at Russia, who he feared had decided to invade “whatever might happen” and defied diplomatic efforts.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has put an entry ban on most Russians amid concerns about detachments being attacked and saboteurs sneaking into the country.
Reports say that only Russian citizens with proof that they are attending the funeral of a loved one will be allowed in.
However, hundreds of feared Russian “guards” were already in position and ready to rise to join the attack when the Kremlin ordered the invasion.
Mr Johnson will hold a series of calls with world leaders and will travel to Europe this week. A Downing Street spokesman said yesterday: “The crisis on the Ukraine border has reached a critical juncture.
“There is still room for de-escalation and diplomacy and the Prime Minister will continue to work tirelessly alongside our allies to bring Russia back from the brink.”
Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis said an impending attack was “absolutely possible”.
The UK has a squadron of RAFs on standby ready to police the skies in the Southeast corner of Nato.
The West is expected to announce a new package of economic and defensive support for Ukraine within the next few days.
Industry experts warned that INSURERS last night suspended operations to cover flights over Ukraine.
According to Anatoliy Ivantsiv, head of Ukraine’s insurance company Expo, insurance giant Lloyds of London will withdraw all conflict risk insurance from today.
The move could cut off air escape routes for 6,000 Britons living in Ukraine, who were urged to leave immediately by the British embassy on Friday.
Dutch airline KLM canceled all flights to and from Kiev on Saturday. Lloyds did not respond to a request for comment last night.
Ukraine has advised airlines to avoid flying over the open waters of the Black Sea from today until Saturday to avoid Russian naval exercises. More than 30 Russian ships have exercised near the Crimean peninsula as part of broader naval exercises.
“From tomorrow, airlines are advised not to fly over this area and plan optimal routes in advance, taking into account the current situation,” the Ukrainian state air traffic agency said last night.
Concerns about Flashpoint grew last night when it was reported that British and American observers had been withdrawn by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Donbas over safety concerns.
Moscow reacted to the move, saying it was sparked by “militaristic psychosis” and “dirty political games” by the West.
In recent days, the West has expressed alarm that Russia could use a “false flag” posture in or near the Donbas, triggering an all-out invasion.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4679980/vladimir-putin-russia-sanctions-ukraine-chaos/ Vladimir Putin ‘does not give advice’ on sanctions as chaos grows in Ukraine