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Putin's 'great risk': Russia warned 'passionate' Ukrainians would put up strong fight




Russia invading Ukraine to cause consequences at home says Biden

A Russian attack on Ukraine remains “very much a possibility” according to US President Joe Biden. In a press conference made last night, he said the human cost of an invasion would be “immense” and the Russian claim that some forces had been withdrawn from the Ukrainian border had not been verified. He said: “Our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position.” Mr Biden’s claims echo those of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as he said yesterday that intelligence is “not encouraging”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has always denied plans for an invasion, but tensions have been rising since November and the Kremlin’s unpredictable nature has done nothing to ease Western fears.

Dr Paul Flenley, a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Portsmouth and Russian foreign policy expert, told that any potential invasion would be met with fierce resistance.

He said: “Would Russia be stopped? Well obviously the Ukrainians would fight, and that’s where I think Putin would be running a great gamble.

“The Ukrainian army has been re-equipped and they would resist.

“So it wouldn’t be a certainty for Putin, and that’s where he would run a great risk if he invaded.

READ MORE: ‘Patently failing!’ Liz Truss responds to Russia’s no show at military

Vladimir Putin

Putin warned that ‘passionate’ Ukrainians would resist (Image: GETTY)

Ukrainian military patrols.

Ukrainian troops on patrol as fears continue of an invasion. (Image: GETTY)

“They would resist and they would have the will.”

Though the Ukrainian army is much better trained and equipped than in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea, its armed forces are significantly smaller.

The Russian army has about 280,000 personnel and its combined armed forces total is about 900,000.

As of February 2021, the Ukrainian army had just shy of 250,000 personnel — 195,000 of which are servicemen.

While the Ukrainians are undoubtedly outnumbered, Dr Flenley said their passion compared to their Russian counterparts would work in their favour.

Russian naval ship passes through Bosphorus

A Russian naval ship passes through the Bosphorus on the way to the Black Sea. (Image: GETTY)

He said: “Again, amongst Russian troops if they invaded, it’s doubtful whether they would have much of the passion.

“They’d be questioning why are we invading Ukraine, especially when the body bags start going home, whereas Ukrainians would be fighting for their independence, so the passion would be much greater on the Ukrainian side.

“I don’t think the West would actually, nothing’s been said that the West would deploy troops in Ukraine itself if the Russians invaded.

“They’d just help with supplies and sanctions, I suppose, which wouldn’t have much effect.”

NATO has supplied Ukraine with arms and provided military training, but does not plan to send troops into Ukraine.

Ukraine warned it may be on its own if Russia invades [EXCLUSIVE]
NATO’s ‘mistake’ with Ukraine membership in face of Russia [QUOTES]
Vladimir Putin ‘playing long game’ with Ukraine: ‘Got what he wants’ [EXPERT]

Russia-Ukraine military

How Russian armed forces compare to Ukraine. (Image: Express Newspapers)

Instead, the 30-nation military alliance is bolstering its own defences from Estonia down to Bulgaria.

Putin called Russians and Ukrainians “one nation” in a speech last year, and considers Ukraine a part of Russia both historically and culturally.

Russian is widely spoken across many parts of Ukraine, with pro-Russia support much more prominent in the east of the country than the west.

Polling conducted last month by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future found 64 percent of Ukrainians support their country’s accession to NATO, something Putin is vehemently opposed to.

Ukraine cyber attack

Ukraine was hit by a cyber attack last night. (Image: GETTY)

This pro-NATO figure reaches as high as 73 percent in the west of Ukraine, but falls to 47 percent in the east.

Dr Flenley warned: “If you’re going to invade Ukraine and take Kiev, you’ve got to not only invade, but then secure it.

“You might be able to enter Kiev and then withdraw, but to actually hold Kiev and establish an alternative government, the logistics of that are enormous, especially against resistance.

“Kiev is very different from eastern Ukraine where there’s a degree of support for Russia and relative alienation from Kiev.”

Ukraine said yesterday that the website of its defence ministry and two banks had been victims of a cyber attack.

The cause remains unclear, but the finger has been pointed at Russia after previous attacks on Ukraine’s online infrastructure.

It has long been a concern that Russia might use tactics such as cyber attacks to destabilise Ukraine, rather than a full-scale invasion.

President Biden confirmed last night that the US is “prepared to respond” should Russia attack the US or its allies through “asymmetric means”.



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'This is huge' Swedish Air Force jet deployed over Belarus border in threat to Putin




The Scandinavian country is not a member of NATO, but could be ready to trade in its neutral status in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

News of Stockholm’s decision to send a jet was revealed by twitter user Jamming.

They wrote: “Swedish Air Force Korpen active over Poland border area with Belarus.

“Sweden part of surveillance of Belarus and Ukraine!!!

“This is a huge political statement! Update on SwAF Korpen.”


The Gulfstream IV aircraft was tracked taking off from Linking airport and then flying towards the city of Grodno in western Belarus.

It was flying at an altitude of just under 12,000 metres at a speed of 836 kilometres per hour.

Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it is an “enhanced opportunity partner” of the military alliance.

The government also signed a statement in 2018 pledging to strengthen its defence cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson rejected calls by opposition parties earlier this month for the country to join NATO.

She argued that such a move would further destabilise Europe.

Her statement came in the wake of threats from Moscow that NATO membership would bring “serious military-political consequences” for Sweden.

However, there is growing public support among Swedes for their country to join the transatlantic military alliance.

A poll conducted in late February by broadcaster SVT found that 41 percent of the public supported NATO membership, while thirty-five percent were against.

It was the first time an opinion study in Sweden had found more people in favour of the country joining NATO than were against it.



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Putin humiliated: Russia tries and fails to capture defiant Ukraine village for tenth time




Russia has tried and failed to capture the village of the Chornobaevka ten times, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Aleksey Arestovich. Videos shared by Ukrainian officials online showed the “tenth defeat of the Russian invaders in Chornobaevka”. The continued failures to capture the village comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last night that his country’s forces had “dealt powerful blows” to the Russian military.

Mr Arestovich told a press conference that Russian troops had tried to take Chornobaevka for the tenth time, but the assault again ended in failure.

Following this, the head of the nearby Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Vitaly Kim published a video showing “the defeat” as explosions erupt on the outskirts of the village.

The resolute village has become famous in Ukraine for its defence, as President Zelensky commended Chornobaivka last weekend for fending off six invasions at the time.

He said: “Ukrainian Chornobaivka will go down in war history. This is a place where the Russian military and their commanders have shown themselves for who they truly are – incompetent, capable of simply handing over their people for slaughter.

“Our military has annihilated the invaders near Chornobaivka six times.

“Six times, yet they keep coming back.”

JUST IN: Putin on brink of major RETREAT in Kyiv

Online users ridiculed the latest Russian failures and hailed the Ukrainian defiance, with one Reddit user remarking: “At some point, I think every military intelligence outfit looking at this must be wondering how bad the rot is in the Russian military.”

One user visavillem added: “So this is the 10th time. Are Russians trying to bait Ukrainians to waste ammo with some obsolete/broken equipment, or are they really so stupid, that they keep stepping on the same rake again and again?”

Another user on Reddit adfgqert posted: “The Ukrainian people have resolve and determination that is beyond what I think is normal.

“Beyond inspirational and they bring fighting for what they believe in to a new level for me.” 

This comes amid ongoing setbacks for Russian military forces in the south of the country.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia had withdrawn most of its helicopters from a strategic airport in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, according to satellite images.

Kherson has also been the site of several local protests against the occupying Russian soldiers.

The official said: “We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson but the point is, it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before.

“That would make it very, very difficult for them to make any kind of ground movement on Odesa.

“That would be a significant development, no question about that, in terms of the southern part of the war.” 


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