Battle stations: Ukraine declares a state of emergency for ENTIRE country after Putin praised his army’s ‘readiness’ and boasted of hypersonic weapons as Liz Truss warns invasion of Kiev is ‘highly likely’

Ukraine has declared a state of emergency across the entire country today with citizens ordered out of Russia and military reserves called up as Kiev prepares to face down the full might of a Russian invasion.

The move, approved by the country’s security council, grants President Volodymyr Zelensky extra powers such as the ability to declare snap curfews and marks – for the first time – a direct acknowledgement from Kiev that Russia could now attack at any time in virtually any part of Ukraine, and not just rebel held areas. 

All military reservists aged 18 to 60 have been called up while Ukraine’s border guard service has restricted movement around border zones, prohibited video recordings of its forces and banned the use of drones. Three million Ukrainians living in Russian have also been ordered to leave. 

Ukrainian citizens were also given the power to bear arms – effectively activating civilian brigades who have been training with the national guard in recent weeks. If an invasion does take place then martial law will be imposed, the head of the security council said. The state of emergency will last for 30 days, but could be extended.

It came after Vladimir Putin gave a sabre-rattling address to his troops this morning to mark Defender of the Fatherland Day, praising their ‘battle readiness’ while saying he is assured that they will fight to defend Russian security interests – which he called ‘non-negotiable’. Russia also began evacuating staff from its Kiev embassy, with the flag reportedly lowered over the building.  

Ukraine’s security agency also claimed 45,000 plastic body bags have now been ordered to the Russian frontlines, giving the first hint of the amount lives Putin is willing to sacrifice to get what he wants – after Joe Biden said supplies of blood for transfusions have also been brought in. 

UK Defence Secretary Liz Truss warned today that Putin is ‘hell-bent’ on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine with a direct attack on the capital of Kiev ‘highly likely’ to be in his plans, while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison predicted the attack is ‘likely to occur within the next 24 hours’.

Boris Johnson today vowed more weapons for Ukraine in light of the ‘increasingly threatening behaviour’ from Russia and pledged tougher sanctions after his first round was criticised as ‘tepid’. The EU was today finalising far-reaching sanctions targeted at Russia’s defence secretary, the commanders of its Black Sea fleet and Air Force, all 351 members of the state Duma, and prominent propagandists 

It comes after Biden imposed a first round of American sanctions late Tuesday, warning that an invasion of Ukraine is now underway but could quickly ramp up into all-out war.

‘This is the beginning of a Russian invasion. You don’t need blood unless you’re planning to start a war,’ Biden declared as he levied sanctions against Russian banks and promised harsher measures to come.

Elsewhere today…

  • Fighting along the frontline between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels killed one Ukrainian soldier and wounded six others overnight, with a house also hit
  • Russia claimed to have foiled a terror attack against a church in occupied Crimea and arrested six Russian citizens it said were members of a banned ‘right-wing’ group, in what is feared to be another false flag
  • Ukrainian troops along the frontline with separatists reported receiving text messages warning of a Russian attack and telling them to abandon their posts
  • The EU was poised to sanction Russia’s defence secretary, the head of its armed forces, the commander of its Black Sea fleet, all 351 members of the state Duma, prominent propagandists and a ‘troll factory’ in Moscow
  • Satellite images and photos from the ground showed that Russia continues to move troops to the borders, including newly-arrived troops in Belarus, close to Kiev 
  • Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said conscription of men in the region is gathering pace to counter ‘Ukrainian threats’ and he is sure of support from ‘big Russia’ 

  

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