BRITAIN today warned Vladimir Putin he’ll face a “dramatically increased” response from the West if he uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.
Digital minister Chris Philp urged the Russian tyrant “do not cross that line” amid fears the Kremlin is ready to up its savagery.
Moscow has already started peddling lies that Ukraine is preparing to use chemical weapons and has suggested the US is involved.
Putting out such baseless claims is a classic Kremlin false flag that the regime can later use to try and deny blame for its own atrocities.
Boris Johnson last night said the disinformation campaign was “straight out of the playbook” of a “cynical, barbaric government”.
The White House also warned the “absurd propaganda” was simply to create a pretext for ratcheting up its terror campaign innocent civilians.
This morning Mr Philp warned the West will be ready to respond much more robustly if Russia targets innocent civilians with biological warfare.
He said: “The use of chemical weapons, especially in a a war where there are very large numbers of civilians, would be an outrage against humanity.
“I would say to anyone in Russia thinking about this do not cross that line, do not inflict any more misery and suffering on the Ukrainian people.
“It will trigger an increased response from the West, a dramatically increased response, there’s no question about that.”
The digital minister said the Kremlin has already been guilty of “war crimes” in its indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas.
He added: “They’ve already been shooting civilians who are fleeing down humanitarian escape corridors.
“They’ve been bombing and shelling hospitals, including a children’s maternity hospital.”
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There are fears Putin and his generals are becoming ever more desperate as heroic resistance causes mounting Russian losses.
Meanwhile economic sanctions are really beginning to bite at home with the Ruble crashing and the country on the brink of bankruptcy.
The Kremlin has already responded by upping its attacks on innocent civilians in a bid to break Ukrainian morale.
Armed forces minister James Heappey suggested the West may have to rethink military intervention if Russia goes further still by using chemical weapons.
He urged bloodthirsty tyrant Putin to “reflect very urgently” on what the world’s response might be to such an atrocity.
And he hinted that the deployment of such barbaric tactics may cross a “red line” and leave allied countries feeling compelled to act more robustly.
Britain, France, and the US launched missile strikes against Syria back in 2018 when the Assad regime used chemical weapons on its own people.
The surgical rocket attacks knocked out a scientific research facility and a storage depot with the aim of preventing any future atrocities.
Mr Heappey acknowledged direct confrontation with nuclear power Russia would be very different and Britain wants to “avoid that at all costs”.
He said entering such a conflict would mean that “cruise missile and an airstrikes will be launched against the UK”.
Mr Heappey was asked: “If chemical or biological weapons are used, does that change the calculation that NATO has made so far on not sending planes to Ukraine and not setting up a no fly zone? Is it a red line, does it change anything?”
He replied: “I don’t think it’s helpful to get into any firm commitment right now about where that red line sits.
“But I think President Putin needs to be very clear that when other countries have used chemical weapons it has caused an international response.
“I think he should reflect very urgently on what has happened to other countries where they have used them.”
He added: “President Putin needs to be clear that the use of chemical weapons is just the most despicable thing that anybody can imagine.
“As horrid as the pictures we are seeing on our TV screens today of an artillery strike against a hospital are, they are but nothing by comparison to the suffering and devastation that chemical weapons cause.”