The foreign minister has called on Russia to “stop its aggression” over fears that Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine.
Liz Truss tweeted: “Russia is conducting a disinformation campaign designed to destabilize and justify an invasion of its sovereign neighbor Ukraine.
“Russia must stop its aggression, de-escalate and engage in meaningful talks.”
Her comments came as Russia continued military exercises despite denying US claims that Vladimir Putin is planning a “false flag” operation as a pretext to invade his neighbor.
New photos showed ambushes and live firing from tank exercises, the latest in a frenzy of exercises since New Year’s in the country’s western military district.
New photos from Russia today showed an ambush and live-fire tank drills, the latest of a frenzy of drills since the new year in the country’s western military district
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (pictured Tuesday) has called on Russia to “stop its aggression” over fears Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine
Liz Truss tweeted: “Russia is conducting a disinformation campaign designed to destabilize and justify an invasion of its sovereign neighbor Ukraine. ‘Russia must stop, de-escalate and engage in meaningful talks’
Her comments came as Russia continued military exercises despite denying US claims that Vladimir Putin (pictured Monday) is planning a “false flag” operation as a pretext to invade his neighbor.
British MP Tobias Ellwood, Tory chairman of the House of Commons defense committee, has said a Russian invasion of Ukraine is now “inevitable”.
The US claimed to have information that Russia was preparing for a “false flag” operation to make it appear that Ukraine had attacked its troops.
Russia “has already prepared a group of agents” to stage such an operation in eastern Ukraine, it was alleged.
“The agents are trained in urban warfare and in the use of explosives to conduct sabotage operations against Russia’s own proxy forces.”
This provoked an angry reaction from the Russian authorities.
Government representatives are already detailing the scenarios of such provocations and citing dates of the eventual launch of ‘operations,’ the Russian embassy in Washington said. “As usual, there’s no evidence.”
A spokesman said: “Such statements confirm the relentless information pressure on our country. Moreover, the same scenario repeats itself – there is a ‘filling’ of a sensation, which then, repeated many times by the media, becomes the main news.’
Russia insisted that “the ongoing allegations against us in the United States … are unfounded and cannot be confirmed.”
The US claimed to have information that Russia was preparing for a “false flag” operation to make it appear as if Ukraine had attacked its troops as a pretext to invade.
Russia insisted that “the ongoing allegations against us in the United States … are unfounded and cannot be confirmed.” Pictured: A Russian tank participates in an exercise
But Moscow insists that a solution must be based on “security guarantees” proposed by Russia.
These include a vow that Ukraine will never join NATO and a Western refusal to deploy assault weapons in part of Eastern Europe.
Still, the tank drills at Mulino in the Nizhny Novgorod region are just the latest in a program of mainstream war games at a time when Putin reportedly has more than 100,000 troops and heavy military equipment close to Russia’s border with Ukraine.
More than 300 soldiers were involved in the special tactical exercises.
Elsewhere in the Voronezh region, which borders Ukraine, crews of T-72B3 tanks were drilled in “the skills of driving combat vehicles at night in heavy snowfall and a blizzard at the Krinitsa training ground.”
Mr Ellwood warned: ‘I fear that an invasion by Russian forces is inevitable and imminent and we have allowed this to happen.
“We had a chance to place enough military equipment and personnel in Ukraine to make President Putin think twice about an invasion, but we didn’t.
Only President Putin knows what he will do in the near future, but next week seems crucial. He has cornered himself and after NATO refused to bow to his threats, there was seemingly only one option left.”
Pictured: A member of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit receives training in an industrial area in Kiev, Ukraine, on January 15, 2022
Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area in Kiev, Ukraine on January 15, 2022
After a visit to Scandinavia, the British defense secretary said an invasion by Russia into Ukraine would violate “the most fundamental freedoms and sovereignty”.
Ben Wallace issued a second warning to Moscow within a week, saying there would be “consequences” of any Russian aggression against Ukraine.
On Monday, he fired a shot across the bow, telling an event in London that Britain would “stand up to bullies” no matter how distant conflict was.
Wallace met with Scandinavian partners this week, including Finland, which shares a border with Russia.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it has met ministers in Sweden, Finland and Norway to discuss Russia’s continued aggression and military build-up on the border with Ukraine, with some 100,000 troops gathered at the dividing line.
The Defense Secretary said: ‘The UK and our Scandinavian partners are united in our approach to maintaining European security.
Ben Wallace issued a second warning to Moscow within a week, saying there would be ‘consequences’ of any Russian aggression against Ukraine
In addition to the troops already along the border, more Russian planes have flown into the region in recent days and satellite photos have confirmed the positioning of makeshift military hospitals
My discussions this week were directly about deepening bilateral relations, shared security and the consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“Our discussions were clear that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a strategic mistake and a violation of the most basic freedoms and sovereignty.
Britain and the Scandinavian countries have a long and shared history.
“Our European neighbors 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 assist them.’
Labor said the threats facing Ukraine by NATO and Europe must be met with “strength and resolution,” with shadow defense secretary John Healey visiting the country this week.
“Western allies must work hard to maintain their deterrent pressure on Russia and assist Ukraine,” said the senior opposition MP.