Russia’s ‘Christmas Eve invasion’ with 100,000 troops amassing on Ukraine border

Intelligence chiefs have warned ministers of a “very real possibility” Russia could invade Ukraine on Christmas Eve.

It would coincide with the 42nd anniversary of the Soviet Union’s ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan.

Up to 100,000 Russian troops are massed on the border.

Both the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office refused to comment on what action the UK might take in the event of a Russian invasion.

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander in Afghanistan said: “There is no possibility of direct military intervention by the UK, NATO or the US in the event of a Russian attack against Ukraine.

“The most likely option is diplomatic and economic sanctions,

The “invasion force” consists of thousands of ground troops, tanks, attack helicopters, artillery and anti-aircraft regiments.

Both the UK and the US have warning Vladimir Putin, inset, he would face serious consequences.

On Friday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Ukraine was not a member of Nato and so the concept of collective defence did not apply.

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He said: “It is highly unlikely anyone is going to send troops into Ukraine to challenge Russia. The Ukrainians are aware of that.”

Asked if that meant Ukraine was on its own, Mr Wallace said deep and serious economic sanctions with long-lasting implications were being threatened against Russia instead of military action.

Vladimir Putin’s dream of reclaiming the territory that once belonged to the USSR is almost certainly sure to end in military conflict, and with US forces sworn to support Ukraine, a superpower standoff seems almost inevitable.

Putin has demanded an end to all NATO activity in Ukraine and across eastern Europe.

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A widespread conflict across Europe would almost inevitably follow a full invasion of Ukraine by Russia, warns Yuliia Laputina, the Ukrainian minister for veterans affairs.

When asked directly if a Russian invasion could lead to a new world war, Laputina said: "Yeah…because geopolitically, it looks like this is a possible scenario. So… we should pay attention to the Ukrainian issue because of the security of the continent."

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