The head of Britain’s armed forces warns that we must be prepared for war with Russia. General Sir Nick Carter claims the ‘weaponized’ use of Belarusian migrants is straight from the ‘Russian playbook. 

Yesterday, the Head of the Armed Forces warned that Britain must be ready to go into war with Russia.

With UK troops sent to Poland last week, General Sir Nick Carter said he feared the situation on the Belarus border, where thousands of migrants are trying to cross into Europe, could escalate into ‘something really serious’.

Belarus is accused of sending migrants toward Europe to retaliate for EU sanctions. This was done with support from Vladimir Putin. 

Moscow also has been building up troops along the Ukraine’s border, raising fears of an intruder. Chief of defence staff Gen Sir Nick said the situation in Eastern Europe was straight out of the ‘Russian playbook’.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned: ‘The UK will not look away’. Poland yesterday called on Nato to take ‘concrete steps’ to resolve the migrant build-up. 

Warsaw was reported to be in close proximity to initiating an alliance action to get members to the table in emergency negotiations.

Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he was working to invoke Article 4, in which any Nato country can request movement from fellow members if threatened.

Mr Morawiecki called for the EU to help fund a border wall, saying: ‘We need concrete steps and the commitment of the entire alliance.’

Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show if he was worried it could quickly escalate into ‘something really serious’, Gen Sir Nick said: ‘I think I am. 

‘I think we have to be on our guard and make sure deterrence prevails and critically we have to make sure there is unity in the Nato alliance and we don’t allow any gaps to occur in our collective position.’

After ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele said Russian leaders believe they are ‘at war’ with the UK and its allies, the general told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: ‘In a way I think he’s right. 

‘The question, of course, is how you define war and I, as a soldier, would tend to define war as the actual act of combat and fighting, and I don’t think they want that. I think they want to try and achieve their objective in rather more nuanced ways.’

Many migrants are from the Middle East and have been staying more than one week along the Belarusian side. Polish officials report attempts daily to cross the line.

Belarusian soldiers have been accused of breaking holes in Poland’s fence to let them slip through. Minsk was also accused of arming migrants using tear gas and bright strobes in order to disorient guards, as well as stones and rubble for missiles. Before being arrested, 50 people crossed into Poland on Saturday near Starzyna Village.

Poland prepared for another push at the border ahead of today’s unveiling of additional EU sanctions against Belarus.

Mariusz Kaminski (Interior minister) said there was a rumour among migrants that Poland would accept them today and German coaches would transport them. ‘A provocation is being prepared,’ he said. 

The Polish government sent a text to all foreign mobile phones on the border saying: ‘It’s a total lie and nonsense! Poland will continue to protect its border with Belarus.’

Miss Truss wrote in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday of Belarusian president Lukashenko ‘using desperate migrants as pawns’. 

But defying Western anger, Mr Lukashenko boasted: ‘If someone thinks that Lukashenko or Belarusians will flinch, then this will not happen.’

Russia’s Vladimir Putin stated to reporters that he would help solve the problem of migrants at Russia’s border.