United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Russia that an invasion of Ukraine would be “disastrous,” and that such military action could be “their new Chechnya.”
When asked about the withdrawal of some staff from the British Embassy in Ukraine, Johnson said that the threat of an invasion has become clear.
“The intelligence is very clear that there are 60 Russian battle groups on the borders of Ukraine, the plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv is one that everybody can see,” Johnson said. “We need to make it very clear to the Kremlin, to Russia, that that would be a disastrous step.”
JUST IN: UK PM Boris Johnson warns Russia invading Ukraine would be "a painful, violent, and bloody business," and that "any invasion, any incursion of any kind of any dimension into Ukraine is not going to be a cost-free business… it could be their new Chechnya." pic.twitter.com/sTIYburdZY
— Forbes (@Forbes) January 24, 2022
“And so what we’re saying is that the U.K. is leading on creating the package of economic sanctions, working with our partners around the world, and I’ll be talking to them this afternoon, this evening, talking to colleagues and other capitals and in Washington,” Johnson continued, before re-focusing on the potential human consequences of an invasion.
“But we also need to get over the message that invading Ukraine from a Russian perspective is going to be a painful, violent and bloody business. And it’s very important that people in Russia understand that this could be a new Chechnya,” Johnson argued. “I’ve been to Ukraine several times, I know the people of that country a bit, and my judgment is that they will fight, and really that is not the way the world should be going. I hope that they understand that in the Kremlin, but it’s the job of the U.K. to make sure that our friends and partners around the world — particularly in Europe — also understand that, and we get ready a tough enough package of sanctions.”
Johnson was then asked whether he believes a Russian invasion of Ukraine “could happen.”
“Look, I’ve got to tell you that I think that the intelligence is pretty gloomy on this point. There is certainly a large — very very large — array of Russian forces and we have to take the necessary steps,” Johnson replied.
“I don’t think it’s by any means inevitable now. I think that sense can still prevail, but the U.K. is in the lead creating that package of economic sanctions, helping to stiffen the resistance of our Ukrainian friends — as you know, with defensive weaponry that we’re supplying — making it clear that we stand fully four-square with the people of Ukraine, that we support the sovereign integrity of Ukraine, and we do,” the prime minister concluded. “But we also need to get over to Russia that any invasion, any incursion of any kind, of any dimension into Ukraine is not going to be a cost-free business. There will be casualties, and I think that people in Russia need to understand that it could be their new Chechnya.”
The British government has also confirmed that there are no current plans to send British combat troops to Ukraine.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.