Russo-Ukrainian War: 7 Ways Britain – And Didn’t – Help In Crisis Of Aggression

Many Britons felt helpless as they watched Ukrainians flee from their homes, swarm onto trains and seek shelter in basements.

Perhaps some in the government feel the same way.

While Britain has announced sanctions against Russia, deployed NATO troops to the area and lit buildings in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, there are certain red lines that the UK government says they are facing. will not pass.

Most notably, these included the failure to send British troops on the ground in Ukraine, due to the risk of a full-blown third world war with nuclear-armed Russia.

So what – and not – you’re doing to help, and is that enough? We take you through the basics.

Horrified families wait to board the train amid reports that in some places, corpses men are being pulled from crowds of refugees and made to fight Russia




Britain cannot fight Russia with weapons, for the reasons outlined below. So Boris Johnson announced a 10-point sanctions plan on Thursday that is aimed at “stealing” the Russian economy, making any lasting war difficult to sustain.

London will target all major Russian banks and companies, ban Aeroflot from landing flights in the UK, and target exports and five super-rich tycoons linked to Putin.

EU leaders also announced financial sanctions on 70% of Russia’s banking market, plus the energy, aviation, technology and visa sectors.

However, Ukraine’s foreign minister warned that they would “bleed their hands” after not banning Russia from participating in the SWIFT system, which allows global payments between banks.

Boris Johnson believes that banning Russia from SWIFT is the “right thing to do” but there is opposition in other countries and this can only be agreed internationally.

In an angry front, former European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “In this war, everything is real: the madness and cruelty of Putin, the Ukrainian victim, the bombs dropped on Kyiv. Only your sanctions are pretense. The EU governments that block tough decisions (Germany, Hungary, Italy) have disgraced themselves. “

There are also questions about some UK measures – for example, it remains unclear when the £50,000 limit on Russian deposits in UK bank accounts will begin, or whether it will be per Russian or per account.

  1. The asset freezes on Russian banks, including Russia’s second-largest bank VTB, with assets of £154 billion.
  2. The law, to be enacted on Tuesday, prohibits all major Russian companies from raising capital on UK markets.
  3. Targeting 5 major defense companies and 5 new oligarchs linked to Vladimir Putin with asset freezes and travel bans to the UK.
  4. Russia’s national airline Aeroflot has also been banned from entering UK airspace and from landing in the UK.
  5. The UK will suspend and ban all dual-use export licenses to Russia, such as electrical components that can be used in military computers.

  6. Within the next few days, the UK will announce legislation banning exports to Russia in the high-tech and mineral, metals, natural gas and oil sectors.

  7. The UK will put a £50k limit on how much Russian nationals deposit into their UK bank accounts, but the key detail is TBC.

  8. The UK intends to block the access of wealthy Russians to the SWIFT system for global banking payments, but there is no worldwide agreement on this.

  9. All of the above sanctions also apply to Belarus.

  10. UK Anti-Money Laundering Economic Crimes Bill measures to be introduced before Easter in Tory U-turn.

For more information, click here.

Political and moral support

Boris Johnson attended meetings of NATO leaders today and called on world leaders in their efforts to ensure unity and solidarity with Ukraine, while Vladimir Putin is an international supporter. economic.

Last night Downing Street and other government buildings were lit up in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag.

Boris Johnson this morning spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky just before he went into hiding and said that “the world is united in its terror”.

During a Cabinet meeting last night, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said it was “a dark day in the history of our continent, when Putin launched a brutal and cynical invasion for dangerous purposes.” mine”.

And the British Defense Secretary said British intelligence believed Russia had failed in its objectives on the first day of the invasion.

But while all of this will help lift morale, it’s not practical support on the ground – nor is it pretense.

The colors of the Ukrainian flag light up the facade of 10 Downing Street in London


NurPhoto / PA images)


The UK is ready to send more money and troops to NATO bases in the Baltic countries to strengthen the alliance.

Britain contributes troops to NATO combat groups, which as of March last year stationed about 5,000 personnel at bases in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. They are not fighting in Ukraine but helping to build a defensive wall for allied countries.

Armed Forces Secretary James Heappey reiterated an earlier announcement about sending around 900 more British troops to Estonia – double our current total – as he said more commitments could be made soon. .

“Other contributions are under consideration,” he told the House of Commons.

“The UK has been the second largest contributor in terms of increased force gained, behind only the US.

“But we clearly may need to deliver more on land, at sea and in the air – and we will, if other NATO allies cannot respond at the rate that we can.”

Boris Johnson during a visit to the Warszawska Brygada Pancerna military base in Poland, where British troops are part of NATO forces


Nice pictures)

Refugees and visas

The refugees have already crossed Ukraine’s western border and this is likely to get worse as violence escalates.

However, yesterday it emerged that the UK has not established a dedicated route for Ukrainian refugees to the UK – despite the fact that the UK has stopped accepting visa applications from those seeking asylum. Ukrainians are trapped in this country.

Downing Street pointed to relaxed visa rules for Ukrainians already in the UK, but declined to say whether a safe and legal route had been established for Ukrainians.

A spokesman said: “The Home Secretary has confirmed that Ukrainians who are working, studying or visiting visas in the UK will either have their temporary visas extended or may switch to visa routes. different.

“But obviously I won’t speculate on future action.”

Around 1,000 UK troops on standby to provide humanitarian assistance in countries near Ukraine will be deployed “hourly notice” as needed.

Britain also deployed 350 more troops to Poland two weeks ago for this very reason.

Image of the first refugees from Ukraine to Poland leaving the train station in Przemyl


SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Military support

The UK has been supporting the Ukrainian military to strengthen its defenses for many years.

Until the beginning of this month, a small number of British troops were in Ukraine to help train the army in the use of anti-tank missiles.

No10 said the UK had contributed armor and anti-tank weapons, and Boris Johnson announced plans to send lethal defensive weapons on Wednesday.

Defense Secretary James Heappey told MPs: “For the past 10 years, we have been training the Ukrainian armed forces through Operation Orbital.

“We were among the first movers in delivering lethal aid, and we sent troops to Ukraine just two or three weeks ago, when the Russian military construction was well underway, to conducted the necessary training to enable these men to successfully use anti-tank weapons in battle, as they are now. “

But he added: “The Government does not feel that it can share with the House of Commons the details of the support the UK will provide to Ukrainians at this sensitive moment in operation.”

But there are no English shoes on the ground

Boris Johnson has said that the Russian invasion will fail militarily. But No10 said he was only talking about Ukraine’s defense – not UK intervention.

Armed Forces Secretary James Heappey said British troops were not deployed in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member.

This is because the danger of escalation “is present” against Russia, which is armed with nuclear weapons and has made vague threats about them.

“British and NATO militaries should not and must not play an active role in Ukraine,” he told Parliament.

“We all have to be clear about what the risks of miscalculation can be, and how the existence of that can very quickly become if people miscalculate and things escalate. unnecessary way.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

And don’t set up a no-fly zone

Russian jets are flying over Ukraine, but British jets won’t interfere.

Mr Heappey told the House of Commons: “Yesterday, British RAF Tornado jets took part in NATO air control from their base at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, from where they patrol the Black Sea and southeastern Europe.”

However, he rejected pleas for Britain to enforce a no-fly zone, saying it would be “a bit difficult to do” due to the risk of conflict with Russia – exacerbated by pilots “flying at high speed”. sound”.

He warned it could “trigger Article 5 timing” – with NATO allies having to go to war with Russia.

But Tory MP Peter Bone said: “Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK has asked us and our allies to establish a no-fly zone of Ukraine. As the ambassador said, people are dying while we are. speak.

“This action will be a real and significant help to the Ukrainian people.”

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