Ukraine and Russia are “highly likely” to go to war, the Kremlin has said as Russian troops have been told to be ‘combat ready’ in response to a suspected invasion by Ukraine.
Crimea is internationally recognized as a territory of Ukraine but was annexed by Russia in 2014.
Russia now says it might enter into conflict with Ukraine if Ukraine acts like it wants to ‘reclaim’ the territory.
President Vladimir Putin has also ordered US officials to leave Russia immediately as he plans to order an invasion of Ukraine, before the end of January, according to the Sun.
In recent weeks Russian tanks have been seen moving close to the border with Ukraine. And there are fears President Vladimir Putin is on the brink of ordering his forces into Ukraine.
Allied nations including the EU and United States have responded by issuing declarations of solidarity with the Ukrainian government.
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow is worried about the possibility of a Ukrainian military move in Crimea.
He said: “Speaking in parliament, Zelensky said that the return of Crimea should be the main goal and philosophy of Ukraine.
“We see this as a direct threat to Russia.
“Such wording of course means that the Kiev regime intends to use all available means – including force – in order to encroach on a Russian region.
“This is how we are leaning towards perceiving it.”
Andrei Kelin, Russia’s ambassador to the UK, now says there is “a pretty serious risk” of war between the countries.
He said “There is a risk of war on our border. It’s pretty serious.
“There is a possibility that there is a spark and an incident can occur. Nato is stepping up its presence along the borders of the Russian federation.
“We have lots of manoeuvring now in the Baltic Sea. We have strategic aviation, with nuclear warheads, flying 20km close to the borders.”