A defence minister today warned that Russian troops have been operating in Ukraine to prepare for a potential invasion.

James Heappey claimed that Vladimir Putin’s troops were operating in the background.

His remarks came amid deepening tensions between the east and west, as well as a growing military buildup. With the US preparing to send 8,500 combat forces to the region, his comments were timely.

According to estimates, 100,000 Russian soldiers have gathered at Ukraine’s border and intensive diplomatic activities has not helped ease tensions. 

Denmark has dispatched a ship to the Baltic Sea, is planning to fly F-16 fighter fighters to Lithuania, Spain sent ships, is contemplating sending fighter fighters to Bulgaria and France expressed readiness to send troops. From April, the Netherlands will be sending two F-35 fighters planes over to Bulgaria. 

Britain has already supplied Kyiv with thousands of anti-tank weapons and Mr Heappey likened the situation to the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 that triggered the Second World War.

Writing in the Sun he said: ‘To be British is to go to the aid of others and defend those who cannot defend themselves.

“That’s why our troops came to Poland’s rescue in 1939. We were among the first allies to NATO after WWII… now we’re being tested.

Russia is being warned by the United States that it will soon be subject to an unprecedented package of sanctions in the event there’s a new incursion in Ukraine. This warning comes after Boris Johnson joined Joe Biden’s and other leaders from around world to create a united front in order to defeat a terror invasion.

The Kremlin today expressed concern over what it said was an ‘exacerbation of tensions’ by Western nations.

James Heappey said a' significant' number of Vladimir Putin's soldiers were already operating behind the lines.

James Heappey claimed that Vladimir Putin’s troops were operating in the background.

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Russian-occupied Crimea. An estimated 100,000 troops have massed at the border with Ukraine

Russian armored vehicles move along the road of Russian-occupied Crimea. Around 100,000 troops are estimated to have gathered at the Ukraine border.

Vladimit Putin at the Kremlin today

Boris Johnson has delivered a stark message to Vladimir Putin as he admitted that the prospects of averting a confrontation in the area were 'gloomy'.

Boris Johnson (right), has sent a clear message to Vladimir Putin. He left the Kremlin last evening and admitted that it was ‘gloomy” how the chances of avoiding a conflict in the region.

Ukrainian territorial volunteers take part in military training near Kiev at the weekend amid fears Russia could invade

Despite fears that Russia might invade, Ukrainian military volunteers took part in training exercises near Kiev this weekend.

Last night, Mr Johnson had warned that a prolonged and bloody conflict would ensue between Moscow’s leaders. The Prime Minister of the United States and its President, Donald Trump, met virtually with their counterparts from the US.

Downing Street stated that they insist on diplomatic talks with Russia being the top priority. However, the government said it would respond swiftly to any further Russian invasion into Ukraine.

Today, Mr Heappey stated that he would expose Russian plans if he saw them. This includes their false flag attacks and plots to establish puppet governments.

“As we write, it is becoming apparent that a substantial number of individuals are being linked with Russian military advances-force operations. They are located currently in Ukraine.”

A Ukrainian soldier stands at the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels, Donetsk region, as fears grow of an invasion

As fears of an invasion grow, a Ukrainian soldier is standing at the Donetsk area’s line of seperation from pro-Russian rebels.

Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union until it was disbanded. A young woman walks past a World War II-era Soviet T-34 tank at an outdoor commemorative display extolling the battles and victories of the Soviet Red Army in Kyiv.

Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union from its inception until dissolution. An outdoor display commemorating the victory of the Soviet Red Army in Kyiv, features a young girl walking past an old Soviet T-34 tank that was used during World War II.

In an effort to stop Russian aggression, Biden stated that leaders had discussed plans to impose severe economic sanctions on Moscow and bolster security along the east flank.

In preparation for possible NATO deployments amid increasing tensions, the Pentagon placed 8,500 US soldiers on high alert.

In an interview earlier in the day Mr Johnson said that Russia had a lightning strike on Kyiv. British staff began to leave the Ukrainian capital.

Vladimir Putin (Russian President) was warned by the Prime Minister that an invasion of Crimea would prove disastrous.

Johnson stated that it was clear from intelligence that 60 Russian combat groups are located on Ukraine’s borders. The plan to launch a lightning strike that would wipe out Kyiv’s capital is something that everyone can see.

“We must make it clear to Russia and the Kremlin that this would be a terrible step.”

He said that Ukraine’s people will resist any invading force and that it would be difficult, violent, and bloody from a Russian point of view.

“It’s important for Russian people to understand that there could be a new Chechnya.”

France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Olaf Scholz joined the video conference on Monday night, as did Italy’s Mario Draghi and Ursula von der Leyen, chief of European Commission, and Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

After more than an hour of discussions, Downing Street stated that the leaders had agreed to impose swift sanctions on allies if there is a Russian invasion into Ukraine.

An online meeting between  the US President, UK Prime Minister and the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the European Union and Nato (Jens Stoltenberg pictured)

An online meeting between  the US President, UK Prime Minister and the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the European Union and Nato (Jens Stoltenberg pictured)

According to No 10, Johnson reiterated that Ukraine must be supported ‘against all forms of Russian malign activity.

In response to the threat of invasion, the United States ordered all American Embassy personnel’s families to flee the country.

Josep Borrell of the European Union was the chief of its foreign policy. Oleg Nikolenko from Ukraine’s foreign ministry stated that US decisions were a ‘premature step’ and a sign ‘excessive care’.

Downing Street stated that British combat troops wouldn’t be deployed to protect Ukraine.

Officially, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson stated that around 30 British diplomats, which includes the Ambassador, were still in Ukraine. 

According to The Foreign Office, “Some dependants and staff of embassy are being removed from Kyiv as a response to Russia’s growing threats.”

“The British Embassy is open, and it will carry on essential work.”  

According to the ex-head of the British Army, Putin might avoid an invasion of Ukraine as it would damage his popularity.

Lord Dannatt is convinced that “the Ukrainians will fight, fight hard”, which would result in Russian deaths and casualties.

Times Radio spoke out, saying that ‘he is powerful but does not enjoy universal popularity. His opponents are quite numerous.

‘If Russian television screens become filled with casualties and body bags coming back from an incursion in Ukraine that has caused a lot of bloodshed, this will make him less popular and hurt his standing. He’s got a plan to follow.

Meanwhile Gordon Brown has said a show of strength is needed to face down Putin. He recalled how, in his interactions with Putin, the Russian leader said that he “would not co-operate” in any manner.

ITV’s Good Morning Britain interviewed him and said that he had to be strong enough to resist his will. Do you remember the British assassinations? If we didn’t stand up to him, he was planning to assassinate others. Putin knows nothing but strength.

Perhaps it’s late, but the best thing is to show strength from NATO and unity within Nato. This is something we have to fight for, as well as making clear that our opposition to Russian invasions.

“It will have to be severe financial and economic sanctions, so that Putin and the Russian oligarchs as well as the autocrats of Russia and Putin’s government are affected.”