World leaders warned on Wednesday that a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine by Russia was likely imminent and urged diplomacy amid heightened tensions after Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the battle-readiness of his armed forces.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Putin in a phone call Wednesday that Turkey did not accept Putin deploying troops to the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, according to his office.
Erdogan told Putin that military conflict in the region would not benefit anyone and offered his assistance in arriving at a diplomatic solution.
“President Erdogan, who renewed his call for the matter to be resolved through dialogue, stated that it was important to bring diplomacy to the forefront, and that (Turkey) continued its constructive stance in NATO as well,” read a statement from Erdogan’s office.
Also Wednesday, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Liz Truss anticipates a “full-scale invasion.”
“We do expect to see a full-scale invasion. We think it’s highly likely,” she said on the BBC. “We don’t know exactly when that will take place, but we’ve seen the Russian troops amassing at the border, we’ve seen Vladamir Putin’s recognition of the so-called republics in the Donbas region, and we’re seeing all the precursors to a serious invasion.”
“So yes, we are very, very concerned about an imminent invasion of Ukraine.”
Truss warned that the UK would impose an “escalation” of previously enacted sanctions that have sought to “inflict pain on the Putin regime.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, warned that a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine was “likely” to take place within 24 hours, according to the Independent. Morrison said Russia’s forces are currently at “peak readiness to complete a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that is likely to occur within the next 24 hours.”
The reactions came as tanks and other heavy military equipment on Tuesday roared through the outskirts of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine for a second consecutive night and before Putin on Wednesday touted the preparedness of his armed forces, including the country’s hypersonic missiles, in a menacing Defender of the Fatherland Day address.
In it, he gave chilling warnings about his plans to further develop his military’s arsenal.
“We will continue to develop advanced weapon systems, including hypersonic and those based on new physical principles, and expand the use of advanced digital technologies and elements of artificial intelligence,” Putin said. “Such complexes are truly the weapons of the future, which significantly increase the combat potential of our armed forces.”
On Tuesday, satellite pictures revealed Russian forces gathering more equipment and troops along the border with Ukraine. Also Tuesday, President Biden announced new economic sanctions targeting Russia, as he declared that an invasion of Ukraine was “beginning.”
With Post wires