- 9:49 ET, Jan 16 2022
- Updated: 9:51 ET, Jan 16 2022
A RUSSIA invasion of Ukraine is feared to be “inevitable and imminent” as Kiev blamed Vladimir Putin for a massive cyber attack.
House of Commons Defence Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood MP issued the warning as fears of a new war loom over Eastern Europe.
The eyes of the world are on Ukraine as Putin has massed nearly 100,000 troops along with an arsenal of artillery and tanks in the region.
It is feared Vlad could launch a full scale invasion in a matter of weeks – or even days – to seize territory given up by Russia in the fall of the Soviet Union.
Mr Ellwood described the potential invasion as “inevitable and imminent” after a cyber attack left much of the country without heat, light and access to cash.
And today Ukraine pointed the finger at Russia over the hack which is feared to act as a prelude to an invasion.
Russia has denied it was behind the attack.
“I am afraid an invasion by Russian forces is inevitable and imminent and we have allowed this to happen,” Mr Ellwood told The Daily Mail.
“We had the opportunity to place sufficient military hardware and personnel in Ukraine to make president Putin think twice about invading but we failed to do so.”
He added: “Only president Putin knows what he is going to do next, but next week would seem pivotal.
“He has negotiated himself into a corner and after Nato refused to bow to his threats seemingly only one option remains.”
In a subsequent tweet, Mr Ellwood wrote: “RUSSIA is on the brink of an invasion. And once again will try to re-draw the map of Eastern Europe. History will ask – why did we not learn from history?”
Putin is believed to want to reclaim many territories lost at the fall of the Soviet Union.
And he first made inroads into Ukraine back in 2014 when Russian troops illegally annexed the Crimea peninsula – sparking international condemnation.
Conflict has raged in Eastern Ukraine ever since as Putin backed-rebels fight against the government in the disputed Donbas region.
Ukraine said on Sunday that Russia is believed to have been behind the cyber attack last week.
All evidence indicates that Russia is behind the cyberattack. Moscow continues to wage a hybrid war and is actively building up its forces in the information and cyberspaces, the ministry statement said.
On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss condemned Russia’s military build-up on the Ukraine border and called on Moscow to “halt its aggression”.
She tweeted: “Russia is waging a disinformation campaign intended to destabilise and justify an invasion of its sovereign neighbour Ukraine.
“Russia must halt its aggression, deescalate and engage in meaningful talks.”
An invasion by Russia into Ukraine would violate the “most basic freedoms and sovereignty”, the Defence Secretary said last week following a visit to Scandinavia.
Issuing his second warning in a week to Moscow, Ben Wallace said there would be “consequences” of any Russian aggression towards Ukraine.
Tensions on the Ukrainian border continue to be fraught, with the US suggesting Moscow is preparing for a “false-flag operation” in order to spark an incursion into neighbouring territory.
Mr Wallace met Nordic partners last week to discuss Russia’s continued aggression and military build-up on Ukraine’s border, with some 100,000 troops amassed at the divide.
The Defence Secretary said: “The UK and our Nordic partners are united in our approach to upholding European security.
“My discussions this week have been directly about deepening bilateral relations, shared security and the consequences of Russian aggression towards Ukraine.
“Our discussions were clear that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a strategic mistake, violating the most basic freedoms and sovereignty.
“Britain and the Nordic countries have a long and shared history.
“Our European neighbours and allies remain vital partners as we work together to defend our common values, counter shared threats and build resilience in our neighbourhood, the UK will always stand with them.”https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.495.1_en.html#goog_1173728427Play VideoBen Wallace warns West must ‘prepare for the worst’ with Russia amid World War Three fears