Boris Johnson to visit Ukraine region amid rising tensions with Russia
Ukraine fears the worst in the current standoff with Russia, but its military is prepared for an invasion, a defense minister has said.
General Yulia Laputina said that although “the situation is very serious now”, Ukraine’s military has learned to deal with Russia through experience.
Thousands of volunteers have recently entered intense training for the Ukrainian army as Russia amassed troops on the border.
Gen Laputina said that the volunteer force could play a vital role in the event of an invasion.
She said: “Even in the worst case scenario, if command and control is badly damaged, if logistics is badly damaged, [the volunteers] it can be effective in protecting and liberating our territories.” This was the case in the 2014 invasion, he said.
Meanwhile, the UK is considering doubling the troops it will deploy to Eastern Europe in a bid to bolster NATO’s response to the standoff.
Boris Johnson said the offer of more troops would “send a clear message to the Kremlin” that the UK “will not tolerate their destabilizing activity”, adding that an invasion would be a “tragedy”.
Thanks for follow me the independentLive coverage of the Ukraine crisis today.
Live updates will resume in the morning.
liam james30 January 2022 21:09
US to question Russia at UN Security Council meeting
The United States said it will press Russia on Ukraine at the UN Security Council in an emergency meeting on Monday.
The US ambassador to the UN said the Security Council will press hard on Russia over the troop buildup near Ukraine and fears it plans to invade.
“Our voices are united in asking the Russians to explain themselves,” Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield said of the United States and other council members on ABC. This week Program.
“We go to the room prepared to listen to them, but we are not going to be distracted by their propaganda.”
Any formal action by the Security Council is extremely unlikely, given Russia’s veto power and its ties to other council members, including China.
But the US referral of Russia’s troop buildup to the UN’s most powerful body gives both sides a stage in their fight for world opinion.
A senior US official said on Friday that Russia’s threats against Ukraine “strike to the heart of the UN Charter and have serious implications for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” as well as the “security” of member states. .
They added: “This is precisely the kind of situation that the UN and the Security Council in particular were created to address.”
liam james30 January 2022 21:04
NATO wants to “drag” Ukraine into the alliance, says Russian defense minister
Russia’s foreign minister claimed that NATO wants to “drag in” Ukraine and challenged the alliance’s claim that it is all about defense.
Appearing today on Russian state television, Sergei Lavrov said that NATO “has already moved closer to Ukraine. They also want to drag this country there.”
“Although everyone understands that Ukraine is not ready and could not contribute to the strengthening of NATO security.”
Lavrov also underscored Russia’s argument that NATO expansion was a threat because it has engaged in offensive actions outside its member countries.
He said: “It’s hard to call it defensive. Do not forget that they bombed Yugoslavia for almost three months, invaded Libya in violation of the UN Security Council resolution, and how they behaved in Afghanistan.”
liam james30 January 2022 20:00
Canada to withdraw staff from Ukrainian embassy
Canada will temporarily withdraw non-essential Canadian employees and remaining dependents from its embassy in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry announced, amid an international standoff over Russian troops massing on the country’s borders.
“As we continue to closely monitor the situation, our highest priority remains the safety of Canadians. Our officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens, as needed,” the ministry said.
The embassy in Kiev remains open, he said.
Canada said last week that it will bolster the embassy team with experts in security, conflict management, democratic reform and consular services.
“Together, they will increase our diplomatic capacity and allow us to continue to assess and respond to the evolving situation in support of Ukraine,” he said.
The United States and the United Kingdom began withdrawing staff from their embassies in Ukraine earlier this week. The United States has urged its citizens in Ukraine to leave the country.
liam james30 January 2022 18:50
US senators could agree to Russia sanctions bill this week
US senators are very close to agreeing on legislation to sanction Russia for its actions in Ukraine, including some measures that may take effect before any invasion, two leading senators said.
Senators Bob Menendez and James Risch, chairman and top Republican of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said they hoped to move forward with the bill this week.
“I would describe it as we’re on the one-yard line,” Menendez said on the CNN show. state of the union, using a football reference meaning very close to the goal.
There is a strong bipartisan resolve to support Ukraine and punish Russia if it invades Ukraine, Menendez said. Asked if a deal will be reached this week, he said: “I think we will.”
The Senate bill would target major Russian banks and Russian sovereign debt, as well as provide more US military assistance to Ukraine.
Some of the sanctions in the bill could take place before any invasion because of what Russia has already done, Menendez said, including cyberattacks on Ukraine, false flag operations and efforts to internally undermine the Ukrainian government.
Reuters30 January 2022 17:50
NATO fears for Europe’s energy supply amid Ukraine standoff
NATO is concerned that Europe’s dependence on Russia for gas supplies makes it vulnerable to retaliation for sanctions against Moscow that have been threatened in light of the ongoing border standoff with Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia would pay a “high price” if it invaded Ukraine.
But he said he was worried about retaliation against sanctions, such as cutting off gas supplies to Europe.
He told the BBC: “We are concerned about the energy situation in Europe because it shows the vulnerability of relying too heavily on one natural gas supplier.
“That is why NATO allies agree that we need to work and focus on supply diversification.”
He added that short-term alternatives are being considered, such as liquefied natural gas, while the long-term goals are “to reduce dependence on this type of energy source to develop new domestic energy sources that are also more environmentally friendly.” . ”.
liam james30 January 2022 16:50
“A very serious situation”: Ukraine’s minister says the country fears the worst, but its army is ready
General Yulia Laputina was on the front lines in 2014 and is now a government minister. She tells Kim Sengupta that Ukraine’s military, volunteers and all, is one of the “most experienced in the world.”
Emily Atkinson30 January 2022 15:45
Russia’s Lavrov: NATO wants to “drag” Ukraine into alliances
Russia’s foreign minister says NATO wants to draw Ukraine into the alliance, amid rising tensions over NATO expansion and fears Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine.
In comments on state television on Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also questioned NATO’s claim to be a purely defensive structure.
Russia’s buildup of some 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border has brought increasingly loud warnings from the West that Moscow intends to invade. Russia, in turn, demands that NATO promise to never allow Ukraine to join the alliance, and that it stop deploying NATO weapons near Russian borders and pull back its forces from Eastern Europe.
Emily Atkinson30 January 2022 13:45
Boris Johnson is too weakened by Partygate ‘time bomb’ to influence Ukraine crisis, warns former defense chief
A former defense chief says Boris Johnson is too weakened by the 10-game scandal to intervene in the Ukraine crisis, warning that other leaders know he has “a time bomb under him”.
But he faces accusations that the trip is an attempt to distract from the Partygate controversy and could still be derailed by the publication of Sue Gray’s heavily censored report.
Now Gen. Richard Dannatt, the former chief of staff, has cast doubt on Johnson’s “flawed” ability to influence events, with Europe on the brink of its worst conflict since World War II.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:
Emily Atkinson30 January 2022 11:09
Boris Johnson urges Russia to avoid ‘reckless and catastrophic invasion’
Emily Atkinson30 January 2022 10:50