Ukraine: Resident emotional as she hides in basement
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked a crisis Europe has not seen since the end of World War 2. This morning Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” to “demilitarise” and “denazify” Ukraine, the product of months of build-up and failed diplomatic talks between the Kremlin and the West.
Russia has advanced on Ukraine in all directions, with airstrikes taking place in major cities, including Kiev.
The action is unprecedented in modern Europe, and Western allies have begun imposing the harshest sanctions possible on Russia in an effort to hamper its finances for the conflict.
But as the situation has developed quickly into a bloody conflict, the prospect of European countries and the USA potentially sending troops in Ukraine is unlikely to be out of the minds of world leaders.
READ MORE: British man’s terror for wife trapped in Ukraine
Have allies sent troops to Ukraine?
Boris Johnson has made clear the UK will not send troops to fight in Ukraine if Russia launches a full-scale invasion, but there are other ways of aiding the European ally.
Despite this, the UK and other allies have increased numbers of troops in NATO countries surrounding Ukraine.
Arms have also been sent to Ukraine by the UK and EU nations.
The UK has sent anti-tank missiles such as the Javelin anti-tank guided missile that uses infrared guidance to hit tanks from the top.
These tanks can also be used against buildings and helicopters.
The UK has also sent Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapon, which can be launched on the shoulder and fired in tight spaces.
The UK is also providing intelligence to Ukraine and is helping the country combat Russian cyberattacks.
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Is this the start of World War 3? Will Putin stop?
Late last year, Ukrainian government minister and former top intelligence officer Yuliia Laputina said that a full-scale incursion of Ukraine by Russia could trigger “World War 3” if military action ordered by the Kremlin spills into other former Soviet Union states.
However, NATO is unlikely to declare war with Russia unless the conflict comes to the doors of NATO nations.
NATO members also pulled out their small number of military advisers and trainers earlier this month as the situation quickly escalated.
But war can unravel with breathtaking speed, as recent months and this week has demonstrated.
Former Soviet Union states that now have NATO membership are nervous.
Countries like Latvia, Poland, Estonia and Lithuania all have ethnic Russian minorities, and it cannot be ruled out that President Putin could use the pretext he has used in Ukraine for other European NATO nations.
Under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, all member militaries are obliged to come to the defence of other member states should they come under attack.
Only President Putin and his innermost circle will know how far the planned incursion will go.
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