BORIS Johnson is rushing British missiles to Ukrainian freedom fighters — warning that Vladimir Putin “might not stop” after invading the Eastern European state.
It came as Ireland’s deputy premier Leo Varadkar last night branded Putin the “Hitler of the 21st century”.
And Nato announced it is deploying for the first time its combat-ready response force made up of land, air, maritime and special operations forces.
As a new Iron Curtain fell across the continent, PM Mr Johnson told Nato chiefs in a virtual meeting that Mad Vlad was out to recapture the old Soviet bloc states.
And he threw open the doors of the UK’s weapons arsenal to help Ukranians defend their homes.
It includes more handheld anti-tank missiles, which have already proved effective against Russian invaders.
No10 said: “He warned the group the Russian President’s ambitions might not stop there and this was a Euro-Atlantic crisis with global consequences.
“The PM added that the world must make certain President Putin would fail in this act of aggression.”
Mr Johnson went on to declare there could be “no normalisation of relations with Russia after this act” — as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned tanks could roll into Baltic states next.
He said: “Putin is not rational. He is trying to invade Ukraine. He won’t stop. He doesn’t believe the Baltic states are really countries. And we will have to stand up to it.”
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But he hit back at calls for Nato to respond with troops on the ground and fighter jets to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine — warning that any accident could trigger World War Three.
He added: “What I will do is help Ukraine fight every street with every piece of equipment we can get to them, and we will support them, and that is the reality.”
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told MPs: “We want to see as much British kit in the hands of Ukranians as we can manage.”
He said ministers have ordered military chiefs “to look across the full UK inventory” of weapons.
He spoke as it emerged:
- RUSSIAN special forces moved into the northern suburbs of Kyiv, with heavy artillery massing 40 miles outside the capital;
- INTELLIGENCE chiefs warned that a panicking Putin could reduce Ukraine to rubble as he resorts to more extreme tactics;
- PUTIN and the Kremlin’s war-mongering foreign minister Sergey Lavrov will be personally sanctioned by the UK and EU;
- SQUABBLING EU leaders were slammed for their weak sanctions against Russia, and;
- BRITISH firms like BP were urged to pull out of Russia by UK ministers.
In a moving video posted online last night, the PM spoke Ukrainian as he vowed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them.
He declared: “This crisis, this tragedy can and must come to an end. The world needs a free and sovereign Ukraine”.
And speaking in Russian, he told those living under Putin’s iron fist: “To my friends, I do not believe this war is in your name. It does not have to be this way.”
Meanwhile in a tense video call, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned EU leaders it could be the last time they see him alive. Western intelligence officials confirmed he would be a target for troops encircling Kyiv.