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State of emergency declared in Ukraine as Putin goes ‘full tonto’ on invasion

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A STATE of emergency has been declared in Ukraine amid fears Russia will invade within the next 24 hours.

The country’s security council this morning approved plans for emergency measures to be enacted in all areas across the country, except the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The state of emergency will last an initial 30 days, with the option to extend for an additional 30 if need be.

The development comes as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that Russian president Vladimir Putin is likely to order the invasion of Ukraine within the next 24 hours.

And Ukraine this morning urged all its citizens to leave Russia “immediately”.

One Ukrainian MP, Lesia Vasylenko tweeted “Yes, Ukraine is ordering her nationals out of Russia.”

“Yes, we are preparing for a state of emergency. At least in some regions of Ukraine. Martial law could be an option…whatever it takes to keep Ukraine standing.”

This morning UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gave a scathing assessment of Putin’s behaviour.

“Unfortunately we’ve got a busy adversary now in Putin, who has gone full tonto. The Scots Guards kicked the backside of Tsar Nicholas I in 1853 in Crimea – we can always do it again,” he said.

Read our Russia – Ukraine live blog for the latest news…

  • Second thoughts?

    Russia has reacted to Germany’s cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 program by insisting they hope it is only a “temporary measure”.

    In what could be interpreted as a sign Moscow is concerned about the implications of the closure, Russia’s ambassador to Germany Sergei Nechaev said he hopes “prudence and pragmatism will prevail”.

    “I think that Nord Stream is necessary, more than anything, for the energy security of Europe, both the population of Germany and Europe benefit from this, as does the economy, which demands resources,” he said.

    “One would like to hope that this announcement is a temporary measure and that prudence and pragmatism will prevail in the end,” he added.

  • Crisis point

    The ongoing crisis in Ukraine could be the world’s most “critical moment” since World War II, Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.

    The Scottish First Minister warned there would be “hard lessons” for small countries if Putin were allowed to get away with his aggression towards Ukraine.

    “This is a moment to stand up for independence, for sovereignty, for territorial integrity and for democracy around the world,” she said.

    “This is probably the most critical moment for the world since the Second World War and time will tell whether the world stands up and defends the values and the principles that we hold dear, or allow people like Putin to ride roughshod over that,” she added.

    “If somebody like Putin can get away with that kind of aggression towards an independent country, then for countries across the world – particularly smaller countries – there is a very hard lesson in that,” she went on to say.

  • Putin has ‘gone full tonto’

    UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace this morning gave a scathing assessment of Putin’s behaviour.

    “Unfortunately we’ve got a busy adversary now in Putin, who has gone full tonto. The Scots Guards kicked the backside of Tsar Nicholas I in 1853 in Crimea – we can always do it again,” he said.

    “Tsar Nicholas I made the same mistake Putin did.. no friends, no alliances.”

  • Boris also declared that further military aid will be sent to Ukraine “in light of the increasingly threatening behaviour” from Russia.

    The aid sent by UK to Ukraine will include defensive weapons and non-lethal aid.

  • Pincer movement

    Speaking at PMQs, Boris today said the fresh wave of sanctions against Russia will be in coordination with US and other allies.

    He declared Russian President Putin will be “squeezed” simultaneously.

  • Boris declares ‘more sanctions on Russia are coming’

    Boris Johnson this lunchtime revealed that the UK will slap Russia with a whole host of fresh sanctions.

    Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour leader Keir Starmer asked the PM if he isn’t going to introduce a full package sanctions now, then when?
    Mr Johnson replied that it’s important to keep some sanctions in reserve for what could be a protracted crisis. “There is more to come.”

  • What’s been happening today?

    With the Ukraine crisis a rapidly shifting situation, The Sun Online is the best place to keep up to date.

    Here’s my pick of our must-reads for today:

  • World powers on action against Russia

    British, European and US officials have been scrambling for a unified response in regards to implementing sanctions against Russia.

    Yesterday, Germany announced it is axing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, delighting Western allies. The £10 Billion project would see more gas flow from Russia to Germany, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz finally relented over the “grave breach” of international law.

    French President Emmanuel Macron was forced to give up his failed attempts to broker a deal. Paris officials moaned that Putin had strung along the French leader. Brussels was forced to issue watered down sanctions, with the EU beset by bitter infighting.

    Italy, Austria, Hungary, Spain, and Cyprus were accused of preventing tougher action. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell admitted internal talks were “not easy” and “we could have gone further”.

    Scathing EU insiders said the response “isn’t even a slap on the wrist”. But an EU diplomat insisted the EU’s response was in lockstep with that of transatlantic allies.

  • Boris’ backing

    The UK Government has agreed to guarantee up to $500M in loans to support Ukraine.

    The package, announced today on the Government website, offers vital economic stability to Kyiv as they face the threat of imminent invasion from Russia.

  • Blood supply

    Moscow is urgently seeking medics to work in makeshift hospitals and has also been stockpiling blood supplies.

    US President Joe Biden said intelligence suggested Russian forces were moving “supplies of blood and medical equipment” to the Ukrainian border as they prepared for an invasion.

    “Russia has moved supplies of blood and medical equipment into position on their border,” Biden said.

    “You don’t need blood unless you plan on starting a war.”

  • Johnson: Escalation would be ‘absolutely catastrophic’

    The PM told the Commons yesterday that the sanctions are “the first tranche, the first barrage, of what we are prepared to do, and we hold further sanctions at readiness”.

    Boris Johnson then warned it is “inevitable” he will return with a “much bigger package”. But he was slammed by all parties for not going far enough in 90 minute Commons grilling.

    The PM warned an escalation would be “absolutely catastrophic” and be met with an unprecedented sanctions hit.

    He said: “I’m afraid all the evidence is that President Putin is indeed bent on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the overrunning and subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country.”

    But former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith hit back: “Should it not be that we need to hit them if we’re going to hit them with sanctions hard, and hit them now. They need to feel the pain.”

    Fellow Tory John Baron said: “I hope he takes away from this exchange today the strong support for tougher sanctions now because that is what is needed.”

  • PUTIN’S THREAT

    VLADIMIR Putin has warned “unparalleled” hypersonic missiles are ready for action and has been stockpiling blood, fuelling war fears.

    Tanks and trucks have also been on the move amid concern Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, could be next in his sights.

    With a huge 200,000 strong force ringing Ukraine, the world is on a knife edge waiting for Putin’s next move, which could see the bloodiest conflict in Europe since WW2.

    Ukraine has declared a state of emergency, allowing police to carry out random checks, and also announced all citizens will now be allowed to carry guns.

    Putin has now given a chilling warning that “weapons without parallel in the world have been put on combat duty”.

  • Britain to send more weapons to Ukraine

    The Prime Minister yesterday hit the mad tyrant with an opening salvo of sanctions but came under fire for not being tougher.

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the West will take “whatever action we need to deter” Putin, as Britain prepared a slew of fresh arms shipments.

    Additional “lethal but defensive arms” are likely to be flown in by the end of the week.

    Mr Johnson said: “I believe that the British people will support the UK Government in doing that, I think that they have a right to defend their country and the UK will help them do that.”

    He warned the Kremlin appeared to be “establishing the pretext for a full-scale offensive” by sending troops into the Donbas region under the guise of being “peacekeepers”.

    Britain is to send more weapons to embattled Ukraine within days — after Boris Johnson warned Vladimir Putin was behaving in 'an illogical and irrational frame of mind' Credit: EPA
    Britain is to send more weapons to embattled Ukraine within days — after Boris Johnson warned Vladimir Putin was behaving in ‘an illogical and irrational frame of mind’ Credit: EPA
  • BREAKING: Ukraine set to declare state of emergency

    Ukraine will announce a state of emergency, the country’s national security council has decided.

    Following a meeting of the council, top security official Oleksiy Danilov said the state of emergency would be imposed all regions except Donetsk and Luhansk.

    Donetsk and Luhask are regions in which Ukrainian forces are already at war with Russian-backed separatists.

    He said it would last 30 days initially.

    The decision still needs to be approved by the Ukrainian parliament.

  • Russia ‘doesn’t care about the sanctions’

    Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, said on Wednesday that introducing sanctions against Russia “makes no sense and has no value here, we don’t care about these sanctions, really.”

    Speaking to Belgium’s la Première radio, Tolstoy claimed that the “big mistake of the West is to think that Russians live only for the economy.”

    He then said: “For us, it is much more important to save the lives of our compatriots, the Russians in Ukraine, to save the families who have been living for eight years under the fire of the neo-Nazi regime installed in Kyiv with the help of Europe.”

    Asked whether Russia might cut off energy supplies, Tolstoy said: “Do not worry, Russia will fulfill all its contracts. There is no threat from this side.”

  • ‘Hit more. Hit Hard. Hit now.’

    Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, wants the west to ratchet up its sanctions on Russia: “Hit more. Hit hard. Hit now.”

    The country is now advising its citizens to leave Russia, with the foreign ministry recommending “that citizens of Ukraine refrain from any trips to the Russian Federation, and those who are in this country to leave its territory immediately”.

  • Jeremy Hunt: ‘We do need to go further’ (Continued…)

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Hunt continued to say: “If we are going to avoid being two steps behind in the diplomatic chess game, we have to do some things that he’s not expecting.

    “The most important is to do sanctions – economic and financial sanctions – that are tough enough and last long enough to reduce the ability of the Russian state to finance the Russian military.

    “And that means we have got to be prepared to dig in for the long term and not do what I’m afraid has happened all too often, which is that you get a future government that decides they want to reset relations with Moscow, as, for example, President Obama did when he became president, and they cancel previous sanctions or penalties and Russia can feel that it’s got away with what it’s done.”

  • ‘We do need to go further’

    The former UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning.

    Hunt said that the British government needs to take action that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not expecting”.

    He also said: “We do need to go further, and I suspect the government wanted to. They’ve been pretty robust in what they’ve said but it’s very important to go in lockstep with our allies in a situation like this.

    “But what we have to remember is that Putin has both predicted these sanctions and indeed further sanctions – and discounted them.”

  • Ukraine reservists to be conscripted

    Ukraine has begun conscripting members of its reserve defence forces into the military, which are aged 18-60. This comes following a decree by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

    The military said that the maximum service period would be a year and recruits with skills, such as mechanics, will be posted to specialist units.

    Those who ignore the call could face “criminal responsibility” say officials.

    Experts estimate that around 900,000 people serve in Ukraine’s reserve defence forces.

  • ‘We are waking up in a new Europe’

    Manfred Weber, the chair of the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament, believes the EU can act on three sectors: energy, banking, and high technology.

    Weber, speaking from Lithuania to Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday said: “If we continue down the path of escalation, of military escalation, then all three options must be on the table, and then the West will also act in unison.”

    Weber also referred to yesterday as a “historic day”, and said: “we are waking up in a new Europe”.

  • Ukraine tells citizens to leave Russia now

    Ukraine has told its citizens not to visit Russia and warned any Ukrainians already there to leave immediately.

    “The foreign ministry recommends that citizens of Ukraine refrain from any trips to the Russian Federation, and those who are in this country to leave its territory immediately,” a statement says in Russian.

  • Liz Truss: Putin is ‘hell-bent’ on invading Ukraine.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Liz Truss was challenged on whether the current UK sanctions are tough enough to stop the Russian state financing the military.

    Truss responded, saying: “One of the banks that we’ve sanctioned is the bank that finances the Russian military, so we are absolutely taking that step.

    “I believe that Putin is hell-bent on invading Ukraine. This is about inflicting pain on Putin and degrading the Russian economic system over time, targeting people that are close to Putin. But if you’re asking me is he paying attention, my view is that he wants to invade, this is a long-standing plan.

    “And what we have to do is make it as painful as possible, both by supplying support to the Ukrainian government in terms of defensive weapons, in terms of economic support, and by imposing economic costs.”



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