Laura Kuenssberg warns of ‘ominous assessment’ in horror prediction on Putin’s next move

BBC News reporters wear flight jackets following sirens in Ukraine

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After Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in the early hours on Thursday, Western leaders were quick to condemn the Kremlin’s actions and impose harsher sanctions. Boris Johnson addressed MPs yesterday stating “Putin must fail” as he unveiled the “largest set of sanctions ever imposed anywhere by the UK Government”.

BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg revealed the PM gave a stark warning to Cabinet.

Writing to her 1.3 million Twitter followers, she said: “Cabinet were given ‘ominous assessment’ tonight of what might happen in next few days.

“PM repeatedly told ministers, ‘Putin must fail’ describing today as a ‘dark day for our continent’.”

While addressing MPs and unveiling a new “largest ever” set of sanctions on the Kremlin, Boris Johnson warned Putin of a British retaliation.

Mr Johnson said: “Putin will stand condemned in the eyes of the world and of history.

“He will never be able to cleanse the blood of Ukraine from his hands.

“Although the UK and our allies tried every avenue for diplomacy until the final hour, I am driven to conclude that Putin was always determined to attack his neighbour, no matter what we did.

“Now we see him for what he is – a bloodstained aggressor, who believes in imperial conquest.”

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The Prime Minister added that “this hideous and barbarous venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure”.

With the fresh sanction imposed yesterday, Mr Johnson said more than 100 businesses and individuals will be tackled in total, including “all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine”.

He added the UK was freezing the assets of several Russian banks and banning hi-tech exports.

VTB, which has assets totalling £154 billion, will immediately have its assets frozen, along with all major Russian banks.

However, the 57-year-old PM stated there are plans to work with G7 and NATO allies to shut off the country’s access to the SWIFT payment system.

Mr Johnson also added there are plans to extend the full range of these measures to Belarus after it was discovered Minsk aided the invasion effort.

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