Russia today banned uk Prime Minister Boris Johnson and twelve other UK officials from entering the country for “the unprecedented hostile actions” taken against Moscow by the British government.
“This step has been taken as a response to the unbridled political-information campaign unleashed by London, which aims at the international isolation of Russia, the creation of conditions to contain our country and strangle the national economy,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in announcing the measure.
The Russian diplomatic statement highlights that the British government “purposely aggravates the situation around Ukraine by stuffing the Kiev regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the part of NATO.”
“The Russophobic policy of the British authorities, which have set themselves the fundamental task of promoting a negative attitude towards our country and freezing bilateral ties in practically all areas, damages the well-being and interests of the inhabitants of Great Britain itself,” Foreign Affairs stressed.
According to Moscow, any sanctioning attacks “will inevitably turn against their promoters and will be resolutely rejected.”
In addition to Jhonson, the ban affects nine members of his Cabinet, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Foreign Ministers Elizabetsh Truss; Defense, Ben Wallace; Transportation; Grant Shapps; Interior; Priti Patel; Economy; Rishi Sunak; Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, and Culture, Nadine Dorries, as well as Secretary of State for the Armed Forces James Heappey.
The list of sanctioned is completed by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon; the Attorney General for England and Wales, Suella Braverman, and the former Prime Minister and Conseving MP Theresa May.
British special forces train troops in Ukraine, according to “The Times”
Officers from two battalions stationed in and around the Ukrainian capital told The Times newspaper they had received military training from British soldiers in the past two weeks.
Among them, Captain Yuriy Myronenko, whose battalion is in Obolon, north of Kiev, who explained that the military of the special forces had come to instruct the new recruits to use the NLAW, the anti-tank missiles supplied by the United Kingdom.
London’s defence ministry has not confirmed this information, citing its protocol not to comment on special operations.
The newspaper points out that this is the first time that the presence of British soldiers active on Ukrainian soil has been verified since the war began, since until now the trainers had been ex-military or volunteers.
The UK’s trainers were already in Ukraine after the invasion of Crimea, but were withdrawn last February to avoid a direct conflict with Russian forces and the possibility of NATO being involved in the current conflict.
The news comes at a time of heightened tensions between Russia and the United Kingdom, which has taken a leading role in Europe in arming Kiev and sanctioning Moscow.
Nicola Sutrgeon’s response
“Putin is a war criminal and I will not hesitate to condemn him and his regime,” the Scottish independence leader said.
“Scotland is determined to take the strongest possible steps to isolate and penalise its regime, and to do everything possible to support the people of Ukraine.”
Sturgeon said it is important that those “on the side of freedom and democracy work together” to ensure that “Putin’s government and his network of oligarchs are as isolated as possible.”
“Russia’s international condemnation, not only in words but also in actions, must be as strong as possible,” said the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).
In his view, world leaders must “choose a side in this unprovoked aggression” by Russia against Ukraine.
“I am clear that I am with Ukraine and against Putin. And Scotland is clear: we all support Ukraine,” he added.
Russia steps up its attacks and there are anti-aircraft alarms in much of Ukraine
The Russian Defense Ministry had announced, following the sinking of its flagship Moskva, that it would increase attacks.
The Moskva, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, was hit by a torpedo which led to its sinking.
A portavoThe Ukrainian army said that, contrary to what the Russian authorities have claimed, the crew, consisting of 500 people, could not be rescued.
The latter, however, has not been confirmed by any independent source.
The Moskva was the flagship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea and, together with other ships, had participated in the blockade of the port of Mariupol, where heavy fighting has been raging for weeks.
“We are aware that the attacks against us will increase and that the enemy will try to take revenge,” a spokesman for the Southern Ukrainian Armed Forces said, linking the increase in bombing to the sinking of the Russian vessel.
Zelensky speaks of between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed
Of the wounded, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with CNN, it is difficult to say how many will survive.
The number of soldiers killed among the invaders, estimated by the Ukrainians, is 20,000, but the Russian side has only recognized 1,350 servicemen killed in combat.
On the other hand, the president of Ukraine said, in his usual video message, that his country is facing the enormous challenge of rebuilding the places that have been recovered and that have been destroyed by the Russian invaders.
Civilian deaths during the war, according to Zelensky, are more difficult to estimate because of the situation in some areas of the country where cities are blockaded by invaders.
“It is difficult to estimate civilian deaths especially where there are besieged cities such as Kherson or Mariupol. We don’t know precisely how many people have died in the areas that are blocked,” Zelensky said.
Mariupol’s municipal authorities have estimated that up to 20,000 civilians may have died in that city.
Zelensky, in the interview with CNN, expressed his fear that Russian President Vladimir Putin would resort to the use of nuclear or chemical weapons because, he said, “for him the life of the people in Ukraine has no value.”
“Not only me but every country in the world should be worried,” Zelensky said.
“Chemical weapons can use them, for him people’s lives are worthless. We must not think that we must be afraid but that we must be prepared. But it’s not just a matter for Ukraine but for the whole world,” he added.
High-precision attacks on Kiev and Mykolaiv
Konashenkov added that in the Poltava region of the northeast of the country, a media and radar warehouse, as well as a depot of Ukrainian army anti-aircraft missiles, were destroyed.
Next to the town of Gusarovka, also in northeastern Ukraine, an area where units of the 95th Airborne Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were located was attacked.
Russian artillery, he added, struck 811 targets, including 43 Ukrainian unit command posts, eight convoys with fuel and 760 troop emplacements.
In addition, according to the military spokesman, russian air defense shot down a Su-25 assault plane of the Ukrainian Air Forces next to the city of Izium, in northeastern Ukraine.