Russia-Ukraine explained from chilling prophecy to Putin plan and why UK suffers

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Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of war – with Boris Johnson eerily predicting a “generation of bloodshed and misery”.

His dire warning came as Russian tanks and armoured vehicles rumbled towards neighbouring Ukraine, with an invasion expected to happen at any moment.

But before violent chaos ensues – here we take a look at why the invasion may happen and what Vladimir Putin has to gain from it all.

It's all about keeping their former charges away from the 'West'.

And in a chilling prophecy our Prime Minister has prophesied – it could lead to “the biggest war in Europe since 1945”.

Why is Russia invading?

The answer is complex, especially considering Putin has repeatedly denied that he is planning to invade.

But to put it simply, Russia is against Ukraine becoming too pally with Europe, especially with Western institutions like NATO and the EU.

NATO is a defensive alliance made up of 30 countries – and Russia’s big demand is that Ukraine does not become the 31st member.

In short, this is because Russia regards NATO expanding so close to its territory as an existential threat.

Putin wants Ukraine as detached from the West as possible, despite the country being an independent state since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

However, its ties to Russia are deep, with many citizens speaking Russian. It is also estimated that 20% of the population identify as ethnic Russians.

And tensions between the pair boiled over in 2014 when Ukraine deposed its pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia responded by annexing Crimea – a peninsula in Ukraine.

This led to thousands of deaths after separatist rebels in the region engaged in fighting with the Ukrainian military. A peace agreement was signed in 2015 – but disagreements between Kyiv and Moscow have remained.

What does Putin hope to gain by invading Russia?

One expert, Anatol Lieven, a researcher and author of Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry, believes the potential invasion is not about Putin.

He told MSNBC : “Since the beginning of NATO expansion in the mid-'90s, when Russia had a very different government under Boris Yeltsin, the Russian government, and Russian commentators and officials, opposed NATO enlargement but also warned that if this went as far as taking in Georgia and Ukraine, then there would be confrontation and strong likelihood of war.

“They said that explicitly over and over again. So this is not about Putin.”

But regardless of this, Putin won’t invade Ukraine for the sake of it, and there are certain demands he wants.

The main pledge, as previously mentioned, is that he is desperate for NATO to guarantee no future expansions.

He also fears that Ukraine might try to take back control of Crimea if it joined with NATO.

Putin told reporters: “Let's imagine Ukraine is a NATO member and starts these military operations. Are we supposed to go to war with the NATO bloc? Has anyone given that any thought? Apparently not.”

He is also asking for NATO not to deploy strike weapons near Russian borders.

NATO meanwhile insists its door is always open to potential new members, regardless of Russian threats.

What's the British response?

Britain is a NATO member and UK leaders have been outspoken about a potential Russian invasion.

Boris Johnson said the “omens are grim” and said an invasion would be a “shock heard around the world”.

He also feared it would lead to “the destruction of a democratic state” while pleading with Putin for a diplomatic solution instead.

But foeign secretary Liz Truss told reporters it may be too late for diplomacy.

She said: “This is the most dangerous moment for European security since the 1940s.

“We need to prepare for the worst case scenario. Russia has shown they aren’t serious about diplomacy.”

Britain now has the power to impose sanctions on Russian businesses and oligarchs.

And Johnson has repeatedly warned Russia that he would impose tough economic restrictions if they invade Ukraine.

Sanctions have also been threatened by the US and the EU.

However, US and NATO countries say they would not send troops to support Ukraine, but would instead help with advisors, weapons and field hospitals.

What does an invasion mean for gas prices?

Trouble between Russia and Ukraine could double UK gas prices.

Some industry analysts believe UK households could end up spending up to £2,300 a year if the problem escalates.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of regulator Ofgem, said: “When you look at the forward prices right now, there is upward pressure in prices still, so you may see a rise in October.

‘It is really hard to say what the price cap will be if Russia invades Ukraine, but you would see significant rises again in the price that people pay.

“We are not experts in geo-politics but we expect that if Russia invades Ukraine – there is a sanctions regime and that Russia limits gas supplies To Europe.

“That would drive high price rises and that would ultimately feed through to customers.”

The reason why the conflict may affect British gas prices is because Moscow has a considerable amount of control on Europe’s gas supplies.

How far would Putin go?

According to foreign secretary Liz Truss, Russia would not stop at Ukraine and would try to take control of more former Soviet countries.

And former Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Chater, said the West needed to be wary of the possibility of Russian aggression continuing over the next decade.

As it stands, there are believed to be nearly 200,000 Russian troops "in and around" Ukraine.

They are backed by tanks, fighter jets and long-range missile batteries.

  • Russia
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Boris Johnson
  • Military

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