Ukraine: Urgency for diplomatic negotiations says Heappey
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Junior minister James Heappey explained Vladimir Putin’s military strategy and assets, as he warned Brits that this was the closest Europe has been to war in the last 70 years. As tensions continue to rise between Russia and neighbouring Ukraine, Western allies from around the globe continue to watch on and offer their support. The Secretary for Armed Forces explained that now was the time to push for peace negotiations with Russia, encouraging world leaders and Ministers to continue them.
Mr Heappey said: “I fear that we’re closer than we’ve been on the continent for 70 years.
“There’s a 130,000 Russian troops around the borders of Ukraine and thousands more on amphibious shipping in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea.
“All of the combat enablers are in place and my fear is that, if all of this was just about a show to win leverage in diplomacy, that doesn’t require the logistics.
“The fuel, the medical supplies, the bringing assets, the unglamorous stuff that actually makes an invasion for credible but doesn’t attract headlines.
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Mr Heappey added: “And yet all of that is now in place too, that’s why there’s a real urgency to diplomatic negotiations that continue.
“That is why this is a very serious time for the whole world really to come together and to send a message to Russia, that this is behaviour that will not be accepted.
“And that we stand behind Ukraine and that the financial sanctions, if he were to cross the border, would be absolutely profound.”
Putin’s threat of a violent war with neighbouring Ukraine has caused many ordinary Russians to be frightened as they patiently wait to see what their leader will do next.
Andrey Malgin, a Russian journalist, has warned President Putin that he would “never be forgiven” for his actions.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Malgin said: “Regardless of whether Putin attacks Ukraine or not, now he will never be forgiven for what is happening these days.
“There will be no ‘Kalinka-Malinka’ for a long time. Abroad, we will feel everything in our own skin.”
And Alan Sked, professor of international history at the London School of Economics took to Twitter to slam Germany for arming Russians.
Mr Sked said: “Ukrainian ambassador to Germany accused Berlin of arming Russia while refusing to send military equipment to Ukraine.
“In 2020 alone Germany sold €366 million of dual-use goods to Russia. These can be used for military purposes. German policy in the Ukraine crisis is shameful.”
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British military expert Major General Chip Chapman told GMB what Putin may possibly do if he was to attack Ukraine.
Speculating on the Russian President’s plans, Mr Chapman said: “First one is control of the air.
“So the Russians will pulverise the airfields of Ukraine and make sure they’ve got air supremacy.
“The second and third thing is will be a surprise and shock action, that is where you have the psychological dissertation of people on the border.
“It is that which is the key variable because I think they’ll do three things firs the shock and surprise, will try and get them to Kiev, 60 miles from the border of with Belarus very, very quickly.
“If they get there, they can circle and then the key variable which you never know about in war, is what is the view of the government and how were they reacted?
“Will they collapse as they did in Afghanistan? And what is the view of the people will they resist.
“If you can overcome those two variables by surprise and shock action from a Russian perspective, you have a chance if you don’t, and you’re going to have the war after the war, which will be like Afghanistan.”
Major General Chipman added: “[Putin] will not allow Ukraine to go into Western orbit”
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