Has Russia invaded Ukraine and will it lead to World War Three? 5 months ago

Has Russia invaded Ukraine and will it lead to World War Three?

Sajid Javid called it 'a very dark day for Europe'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially sent troops into Ukraine after months of global tension and forces building up around the border.

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The two nations have long experienced simmering tension ever since Ukraine gained independece following the end of the USSR in 1991. The debate over land following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 only exacerbated the situation and now Russia looks to be mounting even more pressure.

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While the Russian leader claims the military personnel are only being deployed as "peacekeepers', Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Moscow of sacrificing peace and although the nation remains "committed to the peaceful and diplomatic path" he insisted that "we are not afraid of anything and anybody".

As you can see in the footage above, a convoy of military vehicles can be seen entering the rebel regions after Russia recognised them as independent entities.

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The UK's health secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News on Tuesday morning that he now believes that, given all of the evidence in the last 24 hours, "you can conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun".

According to Reuters, witnesses saw tanks, detachment of troops and other military hardware moving through the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk and Luhansk after Putin formally recognised the breakaway regions.

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Prior to troops mobilising, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the two "People's Republics", stating that not only does their secession further delegitimise Ukraine's sovereignty and "territorial integrity", but that it fundamentally erodes hopes of reaching a diplomatic resolution.

The two separatist cities, known collectively as the Donbas, are no longer considered part of Ukraine and now have both the political and military backing of the Russian state as they begin to move across the border and through the region.

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An emergency COBRA meeting was held this morning to “coordinate the UK response, including agreeing a significant package of sanctions to be introduced immediately.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already warned that an invasion would "echo around the world" and that Britain is prepared to intervene should the already growing conflict become official. Speaking to Sky News this morning, he said suggested the threshold for invasion has been passed and that countermeasures would be taken immediately.

 

The UK is set to impose a "first barrage of economic sanctions on Russia" following the mobilisation, with many nations across Europe set to follow suit in the coming hours.

The PM also warned the BBC that any conflict could be "bloody and protracted", remarking that Putin was "thinking illogically about this" and did not "see the disaster ahead".

Johnson added that it is believed that military forces have plans to move down from Belarus and the area surrounding Kyiv and, if they were, that we "could be really the biggest war in Europe since 1945, just in terms of sheer scale.

Meanwhile, the US was already reported to be preparing sanctions on Russia to deter them from escalating things further, with the likes of Japan backing the move. However, as with the UK and Europe's move to stop a full-scale invasion, it may be too late for such preventative measures.

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