The Armed Forces Minister has warned on Monday that once Vladimir Putin gives the order to strike missiles and bombs could land on “Ukraine’s cities” within “minutes” and with “no notice.”
James Heappey said it is “impossible” to know how many British citizens remain in Ukraine and those who have left.
He told Sky News “We’ve seen now that there’s 130,000 combat troops around Ukraine’s land borders.
“There’s thousands more on amphibious shipping in the Black Sea. Russia has concentrated artillery missile systems and combat air in the area.
“And, perhaps more ominously, although it grabs less headlines, all of the combat enablers, the logistics, the fuel, the medical supplies, the bridging assets, are all also now in place.
“So, the reason that the travel advice changed on Friday and the urgency of the messaging since is that the attack could effectively now happen with no notice.”
The Armed Forces Minister told Brits on Monday that they should leave Ukraine “now” and said there are still commercial flights available at the moment and the motorways are open to travel across the Polish border.
He added, “There is free movement across the border of Ukraine into the European Union and people can just get in their cars and drive across into Poland.
“The Foreign Office have had a website, running for some time, which has allowed British nationals in Ukraine to register their details and thus allow the Foreign Office to communicate directly with them.
“We are beyond the time where I’m advising people to register on our website. I’m being very, very clear to people that they should leave Ukraine now whilst there are the commercial means to do so and whilst the motorways are available for them to drive out over the border.
“This isn’t a warning about something that could happen in three months’ time, this isn’t a warning that will be followed by further warnings because greater imminence has been reached.
“This is a warning because minutes after Putin gives the order, missiles and bombs could be landing on Ukrainian cities, and that means British citizens should leave now whilst they have the opportunities to do so.”
Some airlines have cancelled flights to Ukraine after Ukraine’s air traffic safety agency has declared the airspace over the Black Sea to be a “zone of potential danger.”
Commercial aircraft have been told to avoid flying over the Black Sea from 14 to 19 February.
The Russian 2S7 Pion weapons are capable of firing self propelled nuclear tipped shells and have moved to the city of Vesela Lopan, Bolgorod which is 10 miles from the Ukrainian border.
The Pion weapons are also known as “Soviet atomic cannons” and are highly effective which can carry 4 203mm nuclear shells which would decimate large areas of towns and cities.