Boris Johnson says ‘savage’ Putin is killing children as he begins crisis talks in Europe

British Prime Minister warns Russia-Ukraine war could drag on as he begins crisis talks in Poland and Estonia – but he faces growing pressure to offer more help more for the refugees

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Warsaw Chopin Airport
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Warsaw Chopin Airport

Boris Johnson today claimed ‘savage’ Vladimir Putin is killing a growing number of children, after mentioning crisis talks.

The British Prime Minister has arrived in Poland, where he warned Russia’s war in Ukraine is “worse than we anticipated”, “we are witnessing a catastrophe unfolding in our continent of Europe”. I.”

Standing next to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, he said: “Vladimir Putin is prepared to use barbaric and indiscriminate tactics against innocent civilians.

“Bomb the tower blocks, put rockets on the tower blocks, kill children, as we are seeing in increasing numbers”.

But he asked no questions at the brief event as he faced growing pressure to extend the UK’s offer to refugees.

People fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine this morning look out from a bus at a makeshift camp in Przemysl, Poland



He is facing anger after, so far, visa-free only the closest Ukrainian family members of those already living in the UK.

Around 100,000 people are eligible for the UK’s current offer – but the EU plans to give Ukrainian fugitives the right to stay and work for up to three years. And the 100,000 total is thought to be the entire number of close family members potentially eligible in Ukraine – not an estimate of how many will actually arrive.

Interior Minister Priti Patel last night said she would announce “further changes” in the “next few days”. Ms Patel told ITV: “We are completely working on this, because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

“But obviously along with that, I have to stress this, we’re working with the Ukrainian government because mostly you know people want to stay in the region.”

In Poland, Boris Johnson is meeting Prime Minister Morawiecki – before meeting the NATO Secretary General and the British military in Estonia.

The Prime Minister will also meet Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Estonian President Alar Karis this afternoon.

A view on yesterday’s damage caused by armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the Donetsk region under the control of pro-Russian separatists


Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

It comes after Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, said Russia used a thermobaric weapon, known as a vacuum bomb, during its invasion of her country.

A vacuum bomb sucks oxygen from the surrounding air to create a high-temperature explosion capable of vaporizing a human body.

Western officials are increasingly concerned that the weapons could be deployed overnight.

They raised “significant concern” last night about the evidence of the TOS-1A thermobaric missile launch in Russian forces.

“Given the indiscriminate nature of that system, and certainly if it is used in any form of construction site, there is no way you can eliminate it,” said one Western official. significant risk of civilian casualties through the use of these types of systems. “

A Russian military convoy about 40 kilometers long is north of Kyiv and there are fears the city will face a barrage of rockets and shells.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, a former lawyer for the Foreign Office, said it should be made clear “to both Putin as well as to commanders in Moscow and on the ground in Ukraine that they will be held accountable for any conduct.” violate any law of war”.

A thermobaric bomb during a Russian test-firing off the coast of Crimea in 2016


TASS via Getty Images)

Britain’s UN Ambassador Dame Barbara Woodward warned Ukraine was on the brink of a “humanitarian disaster”.

And Foreign Minister Liz Truss said Putin had “blood on his hands” during a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva just before lunchtime.

She was about to say: “Tanks are ripping through town while rockets hit homes and hospitals. Putin is killing Ukrainians indiscriminately.

“There was blood on his hands, not only of innocent Ukrainians but also of those he had sent to die.

“Putin is violating international law, including the UN Charter. He is violating human rights on an industrial scale and the world will not support that.”

Dominic Raab warned Vladimir Putin could respond with “even more barbaric tactics” and “we have to be prepared that this could be a long way off”.

The Deputy Prime Minister did not rule out supplying Ukraine with fighter jets to defend itself against Russia, telling LBC: “We are clear that we have trained, we have provided anti-tank weapons and all those things. what i mean is nothing. is not to discuss. “

But he went on to rule out the UK enforcing a no-fly zone to aid Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Puting UK forces in a position where they would be required to directly shoot down the Russian plane, I agree with the analysis… the story of (Vladimir) Putin, but also from the point of view of the difference between what we will do for a Nato ally and Ukraine, a close partner, we want to support, but we will not participate directly into military operations against Russian forces.

“We considered it a no-fly zone, but for the reasons I gave, the international community at large decided against it.”

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