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Russia planning ‘biggest war in Europe since 1945,’ says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson. (Matt Dunham/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia is planning “the biggest war in Europe since 1945”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC during an interview broadcast on Sunday.

“I am afraid to say that the plan that we are looking at is for something that could really be the biggest war in Europe since 1945,” he said.

He added that “people need to understand the great cost in human lives that this could imply not only for Ukrainians, but also for Russians and young Russians.”

On the issue of sanctions, Johnson said the goal was to impact not only “Vladimir Putin’s associates, but also all companies, organizations of strategic importance to Russia.”

“We are going to prevent Russian companies from raising money in UK markets and, even with our American friends, we are going to prevent them from trading in pounds and dollars, which is going to be very difficult,” he said.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, Johnson said that in preparing to invade Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is “grossly miscalculating,” adding that Moscow would have “absolutely nothing to gain from this invasion.” catastrophic undertaking and much to lose”.

Johnson urged Moscow to de-escalate tensions before it is too late.

I am afraid that a blitzkrieg would be followed by a long and horrific period of retaliation, revenge and insurgency, and Russian parents would mourn the loss of young Russian soldiers, who are in their own way as innocent as the Ukrainians now preparing to attack.” , said.

Johnson added: “We don’t fully know what President Putin is up to,” noting that “the omens are bleak and that is why we must stand together together.”

Johnson’s comments come a day after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia was “moving into the right positions to carry out an attack”.

“They are unwinding and now they are ready to attack,” Austin said, speaking from Vilnius, Lithuania, on Saturday.

“If you look at the posture he is in today, it is evident that [Putin] has made a decision and they are moving into the correct positions to make an attack.”

Echoing US President Joe Biden’s assertion that Putin had decided to invade, Austin added that the US would pursue a diplomatic solution “until the last minute, until it’s not possible.”

However, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has countered claims by Western leaders that a Russian invasion is imminent.

Asked about the aggressive use of US intelligence to dissuade Putin from invading Ukraine, Zelensky said he was “grateful for the work our intelligence has been doing. But the intelligence I trust is my intelligence.”

“I trust the Ukrainian intelligence that … understands what is happening along our borders, that has different intelligence sources and understands the different risks based on the intercepted data … this information must be used,” Zelensky told the international presenter in CNN chief Christiane Amanpour in an in-person interview at the security conference on Saturday.

He continued: “We are not really living in deception. We understand what may happen tomorrow… putting ourselves in coffins and waiting for foreign soldiers to come in is not something we are prepared for.”

Zelensky then called on international partners to support Ukraine by investing in the country. “Strengthen our arms… our economy. Invest in our country. Bring your business.”

“We are not in a panic, we want to live our lives,” he added.

CNN’s Ross Levitt, Karen Smith, Maegan Vazquez, Kevin Liptak, Betsy Klein, Sam Fossum, Emmet Lyons, and Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this article.

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