By Rachael Grealish
Boris Johnson has reacted to Russian movement in Ukraine saying Vladimir Putin has ‘chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction’.
It was reported this morning, Thursday February 24, Putin authorised an invasion of Ukraine the Russian President has called a ‘specialised military operation’.
Ukraine reported Russian troops heading across its borders into the eastern Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, and landing by sea at the cities of Odessa and Mariupol in the south.
The Prime Minister took to social media, after reportedly chairing a COBRA meeting this morning, to condemn the actions of Putin and said Britain will ‘respond decisively’.
He wrote: “I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps.
“President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The UK and our allies will respond decisively.”
Sky News reporter to have heard explosions in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, seemingly close to the airport, and shelling in western city of Lviv reported by Ukrainian emergency services.
Leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, has joined the PM in condemning the actions of Russia calling them ‘unprovoked and unjustifiable’.
He said: “Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is unprovoked and unjustifiable. His actions will have horrendous and tragic consequences that will echo throughout the world and throughout history.
“All those who believe in the triumph of democracy over dictatorship, good over evil, freedom over the jackboot of tyranny must now support the Ukrainian people. They have been cast onto the frontline of a war, simply for existing.
“There can be no space for equivocation when faced with the evil that Putin has unleashed. His actions pose a grave threat to the international order on which we all depend.
“There will be dark days ahead. But Putin will learn the same lesson as Europe’s tyrants of the last century: that the resolve of the world is harder than he imagines and the desire for liberty burns stronger than ever. The light will prevail.
“I know people in this country will be feeling worried and uncertain. And I know that Ukrainians and Russians here in the U.K. will be worrying for friends and family back home. Our hearts are with them today.”
The Labour leader continued his speech saying the UK must now ‘match our rhetoric with action’ and implored ‘the hardest possible sanctions’ must be placed on Russia.
He said: “We must now match our rhetoric with action. We must urgently reinforce our NATO allies.
“The hardest possible sanctions must be taken against all those linked to Putin. The influence of Russian money must be extricated from the U.K.
“And those who have for too long turned a blind eye to Russia’s actions must reckon with their own consciences.”