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TOPIC: Ministers braced for 'long and serious' conflict

Ministers braced for 'long and serious' conflict 1 year 7 months ago #279968

  • geemong
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Ministers braced for 'long and serious' conflict

War in Europe. Despite all the warnings, all the prime minister's war-era warnings at the weekend, all the distressing images emerging from Ukraine - that is still a sentence that's surreal to write in the UK in the 2020s.

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Politicians here are universally horrified by what they see. They are vowing to stick together.

Disagreements over the approach to take towards the Russian aggression are largely only over the scale and pace of the response, not the overall approach.

There is also a grisly acceptance that the UK's chosen approach to confronting Vladimir Putin will not immediately make that much difference.

The Russian leader knew there would be sanctions if he invaded. And it happened anyway.

So the application of those sanctions will not put brakes on the tanks as they roll on.

The prognosis is not certain, but sources briefed on UK intelligence say it's not unlikely that the Russians may be able to overwhelm the Ukrainian forces soon - with "ominous assessments" given to the cabinet on Thursday night.

The likely short-term outcome therefore is Russia messily occupying the country, with a dogged Ukrainian insurgency and the West's sanctions surely - but slowly - squeezing Russia's economy.

One minister told me that we are therefore in for a "long and serious" conflict. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is understood to hold this view too.
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