February 24, 2022 8.49 am This story is over 21 months old

“UK will respond decisively”: Russia launches invasion of Ukraine

Despite warnings from other countries, Russia has chosen conflict

People across Lincolnshire have woken to the news that Russia has begun a military attack in Ukraine, in what has been described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “path of bloodshed and destruction”.

Explosions have been heard in cities across Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an operation to ‘demilitarise’ the neighbouring country.

Missiles have hit Ukrainian infrastructure and at least eight people are reported to have been killed.

Boris Johnson has pledged that the UK and allies will “respond decisively” in a statement published on Twitter, as he prepared to chair a Cobra emergency meeting on the crisis.

The Prime Minister had previously made it clear that the UK would not send troops to Ukraine if Russia launched a full-scale invasion, as it is not part of NATO.

During a visit to The Lincolnite offices last week, Boris Johnson said RAF Waddington, and Lincolnshire’s military strength would be crucial to monitoring the Ukraine crisis.

The PM examined military resources at the RAF base near Lincoln, praising the “extraordinary machines” kept there.

He told The Lincolnite he did not believe Russia’s assertions at the time that troops were stepping back.

“I’m afraid the bad news is that the Russians are basically having us on, when they say that they’re withdrawing,” said Mr Johnson.

“They’re not withdrawing, clearly they’re encroaching.”

He praised Lincolnshire’s “very proud” history of support for the armed forces – particularly the RAF.

“I’m sure Lincolnshire will continue to play a very important part but we do not want that you know, I want to stress we don’t want conflict.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said EU leaders would be asked to approve “massive and targeted sanctions” against Russia, as well as freezing Russian assets in the EU.