Russia Invasion of Ukraine Has Begun, Says UK Minister Javid

  • Sajid Javid, a senior UK minister, said Tuesday that “the invasion of Ukraine has begun”.
  • It followed Vladimir Putin ordering soldiers into the separatist-held east of the country.
  • Boris Johnson confirmed the “first barrage of UK economic sanctions” will be unveiled today.

Russia’s “invasion of Ukraine has begun”, one of the most senior ministers in Boris Johnson’s government said this morning, after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops over the border.

Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, told Sky News the West was “waking up to a very dark day” after the Russia ordered troops to separatist-held regions Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

“We have seen that Putin has recognised the breakaway eastern regions in Ukraine and from the reports we can already tell that he has sent in tanks and troops,” he added.

“From that you can conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun.”

Not long after, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the “first barrage of UK economic sanctions against Russia” would be unveiled later on Tuesday.

The UK has yet to say which individuals or organizations would be sanctioned, which UK government sources said was to maximise their effectiveness when announced.

Johnson stopped short of calling Monday night’s move an “invasion”, saying instead that Putin is “bent on a full scale invasion”.

US officials also did not immediately term the latest move from Russia to be a “further invasion,” a form of words meant to acknowledge the Russian annexation since 2014 of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

Johnson and Javid men were speaking after a Cobra meeting at 6:30 am Tuesday to discuss the latest developments.

A “significant package of sanctions” would be announced later on Tuesday, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Ben Wallace, the Defense Secretary, said that details would be set out during a press conference after coordinating a response with allies.

He said Russia had broken international law, describing the situation as “very worrying” and “incredibly serious”.

He said: “Many of us were forewarning that President Putin had an agenda, you heard that agenda in his speech last night.

“This is a sovereign state – a democratic state in Europe. All of us in Europe should and we should not hesitate to take whatever action. We need to stop President Putin from undermining both NATO and also Europe, and more importantly our values.”

US estimates put the number of Russian troops on the border at around 190,000, including heavy artillery tanks, fighter jets and other weaponry.

Officials in both the UK and US have long said they believed Putin is following a playbook designed to bring about a full-scale invasion.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman told: “President Putin’s plan has already begun.”

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