Russia launches 'unjustified and unprovoked' invasion of Ukraine

Russia's President Vladimir Putin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has launched a "full-scale" invasion of Ukraine - Credit: Tass/PA Images

Servicemen in Suffolk have been anxiously watching the events unfolding in eastern Europe after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine. 

Some Suffolk and north Essex MPs have condemned President Vladimir Putin's actions after he confirmed plans for a "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Having denied plans to invade Ukraine for months, on Thursday (February 24) Mr Putin announced a "special military operation" in the country's Donbas region.

Mr Putin announced the action during a televised address early on Thursday morning, saying the move was a response to threats from Ukraine.

Explosions could be heard in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv shortly after Mr Putin’s address, while explosions were also reported in the cities of Odesa and Kharkiv.

Ukraine’s border guard agency said the Russian military attacked the country from neighbouring Belarus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin has “chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction” with his attack on Ukraine and that the UK and its allies would respond “decisively”.

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What does this mean for the region?

Today's news will be of major concern for the many eastern Europeans who live in Suffolk. 

Also, those families who have loved ones at the RAF and USAF bases in Suffolk, will also be following the news closely. 

An invasion is also likely to impact people's everyday lives and we've already seen rising petrol prices as a result of the potential impact on the supply chain worldwide. 

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "The oil price is rising due to tensions between Russia - the world's third-biggest oil producer - and Ukraine, along with oil production remaining out of kilter with demand as the world emerges from the pandemic.

"As a result, drivers in the UK could be in for an even worse ride as pump prices look certain to go up even more."

Where are the military bases in Suffolk?

There are bases in Lakenheath, Mildenhall, Wattisham, and Honington.

What are local MPs saying about the attack?

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has said he was "horrified" by the scenes from Ukraine. 

He added: "There is no possible justification for this attack.

"The devastating consequences and sickening bloodshed will be felt around the world.

"My thoughts with all Ukrainians this morning."

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said in a tweet: "Terrible news from Ukraine, one immediately thinks of the civilian population, facing this unjustified tyrannical action.

"It’s crucial we show them that the world’s democracies are as one - on their side, and working in concert to oppose Putin and strengthen our response."

James Cleverly, MP for Braintree and minister at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said the attack was unjustified and unprovoked. 

He added: "We condemn this action in the strongest terms. 

"The UK will work with our international partners to respond to this act of aggression."