The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that Russia are planning the “biggest war in Europe since 1945” which has already started in “some senses” according to evidence he has seen.
Johnson told the BBC that “all the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun.”
Speaking at the annual Munich Security Summit, Germany the British Prime Minister told NATO allies that Vladimir Putin now has between 169,000 and 190,000 troops on the Ukraine border.
Johnson told the BBC, “People need to understand the sheer cost in human life that could entail.
“I’m afraid that that is what the evidence points to, there’s no burnishing it.
“The fact is that all the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun.”
He added, “I’m afraid to say that the plan we are seeing is for something that could be really the biggest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of sheer scale.”
Citing intelligence from the US and western countries Johnson said Russia plans not only to attack Ukraine from the east via Donbas, but also from Belarus in the north and other surrounding areas in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine has already started between pro-Russian fighters in the separatist area which is seeing hundreds of artillery strikes and severe shelling on the contact line.
A source said, “They [Russian-backed separatists] are shooting – everyone and everything – there has been nothing like this since 2014-15.”
The British Prime Minister told NATO allies at the summit, “At this moment of extreme danger for the world, it has seldom been more vital to preserve our unity and resolve.
“After a generation of freedom, we’re now staring at a generation of bloodshed and misery.”
The UK are sending aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales and 3 Commando Brigade to the region which will reinforce 2,000 troops in Estonia and 600 in Poland.