British minister has expressed ‘significant concerns’ about Russia’s ‘aggressive build-up’ of 92,000 troops at Ukraine’s borders amid concern that a Russian invasion of the country is imminent.

MilitaryTimes have reported here that a Ukrainian defense intelligence agency chief believes that Russia is preparing to attack Ukraine by late January.

Jim Shannon asked via a Parliamentary written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support is being offered to Ukraine to help counter any military action by Russia.”

James Heappey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded:

“Defence has a longstanding relationship with our Ukrainian counterparts and continues to provide support in many areas including security assistance and defence reform. Since 2015, the UK has helped build the resilience and capacity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through Operation ORBITAL which has trained around 21,000 Ukrainian troops.

We have significant concerns about Russia’s aggressive pattern of military build-ups on Ukraine’s border and in illegally-annexed Crimea. We remain clear that Russia’s threatening and destabilising behaviour is unacceptable and continue to monitor events on the ground closely.”

This comes as the U.S. has shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations if President Vladimir Putin decided to invade. Bloomberg report here:

“That intelligence has been conveyed to some NATO members over the past week to back up U.S. concerns about Putin’s possible intentions and an increasingly frantic diplomatic effort to deter him from any incursion, with European leaders engaging directly with the Russian president. The diplomacy is informed by an American assessment that Putin could be weighing an invasion early next year as his troops again mass near the border.”

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Goldilocks
Goldilocks
4 days ago

Russian’s do like their military equipment big, just look at that hovercraft.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Sure beats our LCAC. Which are now gone.

farouk
farouk
4 days ago

I had a butchers at the map, the Ukrianians have pushed out regards the Russian build up, I get the impression they (if they go in) are going to take the land corridorto the Crimeria in which to ease the pressure on it. (currently all supplies cross a wee rail bridge, are shipped in or flown in) If they do go in, I can’t see much what anybody can do, I mean would NATO (never mind the UK) send in troops?

Last edited 4 days ago by farouk
James
James
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Do you think the UK would go to full scale war with Russia over Ukraine?

James F
James F
4 days ago
Reply to  James

We didn’t go to war over Czecho in 1938… but we ended up going to war anyway. If Putin is allowed to take Ukraine he will not stop there.

James
James
4 days ago
Reply to  James F

True but Putin isnt on the war path needing ‘living room’ either. If and its a big IF he moves in it will only be a short distance with some obscure justification for it.

He doesnt want and cant afford a full war hence any possible movement will be minimal and within what he expects the west to tolerate.

Mark B
Mark B
2 days ago
Reply to  James F

True.

Farouk
Farouk
4 days ago
Reply to  James

A sane man would say no, and then there’s Boris.

James
James
4 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

As nuts as he is he doesnt come across as a person craving a war, fortunately.

Still if Corbyn had got in we would have had no choice but to let them get on with it as the armed forces would have been disbanded.

Expat
Expat
4 days ago
Reply to  James

Well he would have penned a strongly worded letter probably congratulating Putin 😀

Mark B
Mark B
2 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

It’s a NATO move. The days of waiting a few years for the Americans to see the light are probably over.

Paul T
Paul T
4 days ago
Reply to  James

Absolutely no chance whatsoever ,even if the Political will was there what could we go to War with ?.

James
James
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

A small specialised force and that would be it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  James

It would not happen under Article 5 as Ukraine is not a NATO member.

HMG would consider joining a non-NATO, US-led operation – but thats doubtful – and there would be many in Parliament who would not want war, probably most MPs.

I could not see any western country taking military action – just apply more sanctions to Russia.

James
James
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I doubt any western governments would go with the war answer unless Russia went literally all out and did a full scale invasion of Ukraine and looked as though it would not stop at the Polish border.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  James

Many wonder if the US would go to war against China to save Taiwan from invasion or to liberate Taiwan aftern Chinese invasion.

Russia/Ukraine is a similar situation, in some ways. Would the US or a US-led coalition go to war with Russia over Ukraine? I doubt it.
Its all different if Russia (for what reason?) invaded Poland – thats a NATO country and Article 5 would be triggered.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Would they go to war with both over Taiwan or Ukraine?

Little green and yellow men springs to mind!

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/terror-insurgent-group/latest/china-russia-approve-202125-road-map-to-increase-military-co-operation

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
2 days ago
Reply to  James

Oh the UK cant do that! They’ve just ditched more soldiers, and are focussing on some hair brained Ranger regiment. That should scare the bejesus out of the russians and the chinese when they start next.

Mark B
Mark B
2 days ago
Reply to  James

As part of NATO yes. Putin wants Ukraine obviously but it is also true to say he wants the rest of Europe as well. At what point do you say enough is enough?

Steve M
Steve M
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I can see them pushing across in line an taking Odessa, esentially land locking Ukraine, If the WEST doing anything he would just turn off the gas!!!

Paul T
Paul T
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Yep – there’s some sort of consensus that even Russia would struggle to occupy all of the Ukraine,but another Land Corridor to Crimea and a de-facto partition of Eastern Ukraine might be possible.

Meirion x
Meirion x
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

This is the root of the problem, and Putin is taking full advantage of it, European reliance on Russian gas. Europe would need to import gas from somewhere else quickly!

Last edited 4 days ago by Meirion x
Ron
Ron
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I agree with your thinking, Russia also need to secure the water supply for the Crimea as they are running short and the Ukraine has turned the taps off. It would also mean that the Sea of Azov becomes an inland sea.

Expat
Expat
4 days ago
Reply to  Ron

You do wonder at Putins logic if it’s water motivating this it would be less risky and cheaper to have built desalination plants than go to war and its not like Russia is short of energy to power them.

James
James
4 days ago

Russia has done this before and then it slowly filters away back to a lower level of troops and equipment.

Expat
Expat
4 days ago
Reply to  James

But they’ve also taken parts of Georgia and Ukraine before

geoff
geoff
4 days ago

To put a perspective that number 92 000, is significantly bigger than the entire British Army!
Brave men that they are they could do with some help-how about these men of steel?
https://youtu.be/thz3DQQNjTwr

Last edited 4 days ago by geoff
Robert
Robert
4 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Russia has a big army, but they are using old rusty cold war equipment.

Paul T
Paul T
4 days ago
Reply to  Robert

What Russia uses tends to work, irrespective of age and condition, and while their Army doesn’t have all the Bells and Whistles as some Western equivalents a lot of their gear has seen significant upgrades

Hamish
Hamish
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Quantity has a quality of its own. WW2 showed that. They can literally overwhelm just by numbers.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Robert

In mid-2015 it was assessed that 60% of the Russian Armed Forces equipment was modern/advanced.

Tim
Tim
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I would be interested in comparing russias night fighting abilty to the west and they still have a fraction of the smart bombs that the west uses there are still big holes in russias fighting abilty compared to western army’s as is shown in Syria but they are still a credible force but in an conflict that the USA was prepared to commit Russia wouldn’t stand a chance

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
34 minutes ago
Reply to  geoff

Its a third of Russia’s entire army deployed on that one border.

sparrow
sparrow
4 days ago

92K? For an effective, low-casualty invasion they would need much more than that

Stc
Stc
4 days ago

The Ukrainians had nukes, we took them away. Some say a promise of security was offered in exchange, I have read that is not true. Maybe the US/UK should offer to return them if Putin gets serious, the signal for that would be a build up of Forces in Crimea and the occupied east province. A pincer movement. I cannot see returning Nukes can break the treaty. If not ,NATO need to send a large force on a training exercise with the Ukrainians. A risk yes, but better than the two alternatives. An emboldened Putin is like an emboldened Hitler,… Read more »

James
James
4 days ago
Reply to  Stc

Putin isnt going to go on an all out invasion of the European continent, he has nothing to gain and everything to lose from doing so.

Meirion x
Meirion x
4 days ago
Reply to  Stc

Those Nukes that Ukraine gave up, were dismantled, and used as fuel for nuclear power stations.

Last edited 4 days ago by Meirion x
Frank62
Frank62
2 days ago
Reply to  Stc

Russia took the nukes, not the west. Russia guarenteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine as part of the exchange. That was the treaty they signed. If we allow Russia or the PRC to invade wherever it likes & to bow to economic pressure(Gas etc) then we’ll just hand over liberties & freedoms across the world & become vassels ourselves. Better we say a clear NO now than years down the line when millions more peoples & nations have been enslaved. If Russia treated the Ukraine better they may not want to be seperate, but if Ukrainians mostly want to be… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago

The elite in the EU/UK have thought it better to virtue signal, rather than develop affordable, secure sovereign energy for their citizens & industry. Putin has jumped on the West’s stupidity. Germany should never have abandoned nuclear power. Now it is dependent on Russian gas. So Germany might write a letter of complaint if Putin seizes part of Ukraine, but in Winter, the Germans dare not do more. Boris & Rishi have wasted tens of billions on dodgy loans, PPE. I think it would have been better spent on making the UK energy secure. Refurbish closed gas storage, build nuclear… Read more »

Martin
Martin
3 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

One point that you have all missed . Putin has put nukes in Crimea and some are ICBMs so why does he need them there. It’s to hit the west if you don’t comply with his wishes

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 day ago
Reply to  Martin

Don’t believe the Russians would position ICBM’s in Crimea, they would be too vulnerable to conventional attack, or even to artillery. Static ICBM’s near coastlines, are Not the place to be for ICBM’s. ICBM’s operated by the U.S are positioned hundreds of miles inland or under the water out in the ocean. Remember Putin and his cohorts are living a life of luxury in palace’s, with hookers at their instant service. They certainly want that good life to continue, Not if they started throwing Nukes about! Putin doesn’t strike me, as the type who believes he will go to paradise… Read more »

Last edited 23 hours ago by Meirion x
Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 days ago

We do nothing when Mr Putin orders his assassins to use chemical weapons on our own doorstep, we do nothing when Mr Putin orders his spy’s to blow up ammunition storage facilities in Europe, we do nothing when Mr Putin orders the annexation of the Crimea so what will we do when he decides to take a bit more of the Ukraine. I believe it will be the square root of nothing!! The problem is when will it stop, if he gets a stroll in the park when taking the Ukraine and he sees that NATO is just a paper… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
3 days ago

If you take the Salisbury Poisoning incident our government was caught between a Rock and a Hard Place, any response had to be calm and measured, Sanctions and Rhetoric were pretty much the only option. A response in kind would have meant escalation which leads to War, that is the reality of the situation.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Hello Paul,
Is not using chemical weapons in a foriegn country and act of war, is blowing up foriegn ammunition facility’s an act of war, is not annexing some one else’s coast line and port facility’s an act of war.
We are already at war but the government refuses to believe it and as a consequence it is one we are going to lose.

Paul T
Paul T
3 days ago

It was to all intents and purposes an act of War I agree, but can you justify starting WW3 as a response to it ?.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Mr Putin knows we have not got the ability to declare war on Russia or the will power to back it up if we did he now controls our media influences our elections and has inroads into our academic institutions, if we do not act soon it will be to late, WW3 will happen but the way things are going it will be 3rd time lucky for enemy’s.

Rob
Rob
3 days ago

I very much doubt that Putin is stupid enough to launch an invasion of left bank Ukraine going all the way up to the Dnieper River. To start with, whilst the Ukrainian forces are out matched they have significantly enhanced there capabilities (drones, Javelin, air defence). Any invasion would result in 10s of thousands of Russian casualties. Putin would not be able to hide this. Ever since the massive casualties suffered in WW2 the Russian people have been casualty averse (thus the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the collapse of the Soviet Union). Putin knows this and will not risk his… Read more »