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BRITAIN launched a major diplomatic blitz to get wobbly Nato allies to stand up to Russia – by backing crippling sanctions and sending Ukraine more weapons.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace will share intelligence on the extent of President Putin’s war plans with Dutch and German defence chiefs to help stiffen their resolve.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arrives to meet Dutch counterpart in The Hague as the UK launched a big diplomatic bltiz

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arrives to meet Dutch counterpart in The Hague as the UK launched a big diplomatic bltiz信用: 环保局
Multiple naval ships have been deployed from Crimean ports

Multiple naval ships have been deployed from Crimean ports信用: 美联社

Mr Wallace told The Sun: “What we want from Germany, as the biggest economy in Europe, is a clear signal on sanctions.

It comes hours after Poland lashed out at Germany for refusing to give Warsaw permits to export “German origin weapons” to Ukraine.

And RAF transport planes taking missiles to Ukraine were forced to take a 200 mile detour to avoid German airspace last week over fears Berlin could veto weapons overflights.

A top defence source said the plan was to “put some lead in their pencils”.

Mr Wallace said he wants allies to know “they have our support if they want to change their aid from non-lethal to lethal”.

The Dutch are considering plans to send sniper rifles and body armour to help Ukraine’s armed forces, a western official said.

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‘ABSOLUTE TRAGEDY

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Britain gave Kiev 2,000 shoulder-launched anti-tank weapons and Baltic states followed suit with promises of Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger surface to air rockets.

Asked if war was inevitable, Mr Wallace said: “Not yet.”

But officials said the path to peace was narrowing and the best hope of peace was convincing President Putin of the costs in blood and treasure of an invasion.

Mr Wallace said the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which links Russia to Germany, was a “genuine piece of leverage which we should use for the greater benefit of all in Europe”.

The US has called on Berlin to abandon the £8bn Russian-built pipeline that will be able to deliver up to 55 billion cubic metres of gas each year.

Wallace added: “It is important we have a strong voice on sanctions that the Russians know we are thinking of the consequences and prepared to act.”

Wallace said Germany was “vulnerable” because it gets 35 per cent of its gas from Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the West must think twice about sanctions and wrotewe have to consider the consequences this will have for us”.

If President Putin were to choose the path of bloodshed and destruction, he must realise that it would be both tragic and futile,

Ben Wallace Defence Secretary

取决于 127,000 Russian troops are massed within striking distance of Ukraine’s borders.

The PM warned it was enough for a lightning strike on the capital Kiev which could happen any day.

But he warned it would be “painful, violent and bloody”.

“If President Putin were to choose the path of bloodshed and destruction, he must realise that it would be both tragic and futile,“ 他说.

“If Russia pursues this path, many Russian motherssons will not be coming home.”

Russia meanwhile has deployed 20 warships and an estimated 1,000 elite paratroopers amid fears they could be used for a lightning strike on Kiev close to its border with Ukraine.

弗拉基米尔普京 has already massed 127,000 troops on its neighbour’s border amid warnings a Russian invasion could trigger World War Three.

Putin deployed 20 warships to the Black Sea Fleet from the Crimean ports of Sevastopol and Novorossiysk for the second time in three days.

Sources suggest their latest war games involved frigates, patrol ships, missile boats and landing ships as concerns grow that a potential offensive could take place on multiple fronts.

“The crews of the ships will conduct a number of exercises and training sessions on the organisation of communications, safe manoeuvring in areas with heavy navigation, and the organisation of air defence at sea,” a Black Sea Fleet statement said.

ELITE PARACHUTE REGIMENT

别处, The Kremlin has been beefing up its force on the land border with 乌克兰 with the deployment of the crack 217th Guards Parachute Regiment of the 98th Airborne Division.

The deployment was reported by independent Russian researchers known as the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT).

They pointed to a video showing tarpaulin-covered BMD-4M airborne combat vehicles and BTR-MDM airborne armoured personnel carriers.

“This is the first confirmed video of paratroopers moving closer to the border with Ukraine,” said the Team.

“In any large-scale attack on the territory of Ukraine, the Airborne Forces should play a decisive role.”

The CIT have since referenced reports that one Russian tactic could be a rapid advance on Ukraine, with the possible installation of a pro-Kremlin puppet government.

“We consider an offensive from the territory of Belarus and/or the Bryansk region in the direction of the Ukrainian capital as at least one of the possible scenarios of Russian actions in Ukraine.”

Multiple naval ships have been deployed from Crimean ports

Multiple naval ships have been deployed from Crimean ports
Tarpaulin covered vehicles of Russia's elite airborne forces

Tarpaulin covered vehicles of Russia’s elite airborne forces信用: 东西方
Russian airborne forces are seen on a previous training exercise

Russian airborne forces are seen on a previous training exercise信用: 盖蒂 – 贡献者

俄罗斯 staged drills with its lumbering Yars intercontinental nuclear ballistic missile transporters in Ivanovo region, as part of exercises by its strategic missile forces.

别处, in Rostov region, bordering Ukraine, the 150th Mechanised Infantry Division staged “combat readiness exercises” involving more than 1,000 军队.

It comes as Boris Johnson warned of Russian plans for a “lightning war” that could take out the Kiev amid reports its troops are already in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister has pledged British troops will join Nato forces in Europe help defend Ukraine if Russia dares to invade.

Other Members of the allianceincluding Denmark, 西班牙, Bulgaria and the Netherlandsare sending more fighter jets and warships to Eastern Europe to bolster defences in the region.

The US has also put 8,500 troops on alert to deploy at short notice, which Russia said caused it “great concern”.

LIGHTNING STRIKE

Isabel Sawkins, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, thinks any potential conflict in Eastern Europe would not be confined to its borders.

She told The Sun: “The crisis has the potential to extend its tentacles into all corners of the globe.”

Analysts say Putin is now almost certain to launch a limited strike in the next ten days — which could include an attack on the three-million-strong population of the Ukrainian capital.

The Kremlin strongman has 127,000 军队, tanks, artillery and missile batteries plus warjets and drones ringing the border with its pro-Western neighbour after peace talks failed.

He is also ready to draft his favourite “war toys” into battle in Ukraineincluding robot tanks, kamikaze stealth drones and paratrooper dogs.

TROOPS MASSING

He hopes a lightning victory will boost him back home after being dogged by a flagging economy and Covid woes.

Military sources say another 30 trainloads of troops have poured into Ukraine’s pro-Putin neighbour Belarus in recent days – 和 200 more could follow.

The moveclaimed to be for “military exercises” in Belarussparked alarm in Kiev, 只是 100 miles from the Belarusian border.

The conflict could see the first combat use of remote-controlled tanks, and the first ever aerial dogfights between unmanned drones.