Russia invades Ukraine latest: Live updates, latest news and reaction after Vladimir Putin orders military action in Ukraine

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had a huge knock on effect across the world.

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Petrol prices have shot up, markets have fallen dramatically and one retired Army officer suggested the UK could be at war with Russia soon.

The Russian flag outside the Russian Embassy in west London, following the Russian invasion of UkraineThe Russian flag outside the Russian Embassy in west London, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine
The Russian flag outside the Russian Embassy in west London, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine

General Sir Richard Shirreff said any incursion into Nato territory would bring Britain into direct involvement in the conflict.

“There is no surprise and there is profound sadness and a sense of appalling horror at what is about to unfold for the people of Ukraine,” he said.

“And I think we have to assume that this is not Russia biting off a chunk of Ukraine – for example, establishing a land corridor in Crimea – but a full-blown military offensive to occupy Ukraine.”

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Sir Richard said it is “entirely plausible” that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be aiming to revive the Soviet Union, adding that if Russia puts “one bootstep” into Nato territory, the entire alliance will be at war.

Boris Johnson said the Russian president has "chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction", and is expected to announce further sanctions.

The meeting of the Cobra emergency committee follows a call between Mr Johnson and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during the night as Russia launched its assault.

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Boris Johnson: Putin has chosen ‘path of bloodshed’ by launching attack on Ukrai...

The Prime Minister - whose initial package of sanctions was criticised by senior Tories and opposition figures - has promised to respond "decisively" to the Russian onslaught.

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"I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelensky to discuss next steps," he said.

"President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

"The UK and our allies will respond decisively."

Meanwhile, Yorkshire MPs have taken to social media to share their feelings on the issue.

Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn said: "Despite Russia’s repeated claims that they had no plans to invade Ukraine we now know that was a lie. Full sanctions must be applied now."

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Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton labelled the invasion a "blatant violation of international law". He said: "Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is completely unprovoked and a blatant violation of international law.

"The world’s democracies must come together to deliver the strongest possible response to support the Ukrainian people. We must not tolerate this disgraceful act of aggression."

Russia Ukraine crisis: Latest updates, news and reaction

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Here’s how your holidays might be affected by the war in Ukraine.

The Bishop of Leeds Nick Baines has written exclusively for The Yorkshire Post about the situation in Ukraine.

He says there are haunting echoes of Nazi Germany in the invasion.

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was due to give a speech in Yorkshire today, however he returnd to London following developments in Ukraine overnight

Boris Johnson stresses ‘Western inaction or under-reaction would have unthinkable consequences’ in call with German Chancellor

Boris Johnson has stressed that “Western inaction or under-reaction would have unthinkable consequences” in a call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

He welcomed Germany’s decision to cancel certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, which was seen as a major economic blow to Moscow.

But he said allies “must now make a concerted effort to bring the strongest possible sanctions to bear on the Putin regime”, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

“The Prime Minister said that President Putin must fail and achieving that will require the Western world to isolate him both politically and economically,” the spokesperson said.

“The Prime Minister welcomed Germany’s decision to suspend the Nord Stream 2 pipeline but said that allies must now make a concerted effort to bring the strongest possible sanctions to bear on the Putin regime.

“The Prime Minister underscored that Western inaction or under-reaction would have unthinkable consequences. The leaders agreed to stay in close contact and to discuss our response further in this afternoon’s meeting of G7 leaders.”

British-Ukrainian student, 19, planning to stay in Kyiv to help ‘protect city’

A British-Ukrainian student in Kyiv – who woke to the sound of explosions on Thursday morning – is not planning to leave the Ukrainian capital as she wishes to aid the military response to the Russian invasion.

Valentina Butenko is studying politics at University College London but returned to Ukraine a few weeks ago to offer to help with the security crisis there.

The 19-year-old has joined the Ukrainian Women’s Guard, which offers women training in self-defence, shooting and first aid amongst other military skills, and hopes to utilise these following Russia’s bombardment on Thursday.

“I don’t think anyone quite was preparing for anything on this scale,” Ms Butenko told the PA news agency.

“It’s terrifying… I feel angry, I feel scared, but I also feel very impassioned to go out and help Ukraine right now and stand by my country.

“I am not keen to leave Kyiv, I would like to contribute to the military effort, whether that’s medically or by sheltering people.”

Ms Butenko, who has a British mother but was raised in Ukraine, is in Kyiv with her father and said she would consider leaving the country if her family came under serious threat.

“But right now I’m very focused on trying to provide whatever aid I can to Ukraine, because panic and fear are some of the most powerful weapons that Russia has used against its own people, and I don’t believe they have a right to use them against our people,” she said.

On the “urban warfare” training she received, which included handling a rifle, Ms Butenko said: “It’s hard to predict or even imagine a case in which those skills can be used.

“But I think I came to a basic understanding, you know, I need to be prepared… I don’t know how, ultimately, I will have to step in and protect Ukraine, but I need to be prepared for any situation.

“That’s very much the spirit of a lot of young people here right now.”

Ms Butenko said the atmosphere in Kyiv has “completely changed” over the past 24 hours.

She said she saw debris from apparent blasts in Kyiv when she travelled into its centre on Thursday, and shared a video with PA of roads out of the city blocked with traffic as many decided to flee the capital.

“We went from kind of going to bed as usual, with that slight worry… to waking up to the sounds of missiles and explosions,” she said.

“The atmosphere has completely changed, from this attempt at keeping calm while understanding that there is a threat to a full-scale mobilization to protect our families… we need to protect our city.”

The student called on the UK to show “real commitment” to the values of democracy and freedom by sanctioning Russia and supporting the Ukrainian military.

“When I came to the UK, one of the things I really loved about that country is the real commitment to these democratic values and freedom,” Ms Butenko said.

“When you live in a country where these values haven’t always historically been respected, there’s something beautiful in how readily available these values are in British society.

“What I would ask the UK Parliament and Boris Johnson is that you really, really show that these values are universal – because they don’t mean anything if they aren’t applied universally.

“Russian money that exists in London needs to be rooted out, we need to apply sanctions so the cost of this war is too high for Russia, and Ukraine needs military aid – we need supplies, we need financing, anything the UK can provide.”

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Boris Johnson is hitting Russia with the “largest and most severe” package of sanctions it has ever faced to punish “blood-stained aggressor” Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.

Russian forces take control of Chernobyl as Boris Johnson warns of attempt 'to redraw the map of Europe in blood'

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