Fears Russia-Ukraine war could erupt in DAYS with UK on 'high alert' as US flies nuke bombers nearby
THE Russia-Ukraine crisis could "erupt into all-out war" within days after the Kremlin threatened to "end" Kiev as military tensions were pushed to breaking point.
The terrifying news comes amid reports US nuclear bombers have been patrolling the skies after Moscow deployed tens of thousands of troops to the flashpoint border.
It's been reported senior British commanders and Whitehall officials are on now“high alert” amid the simmering crisis and are said to be monitoring the escalating situation “with growing concern.”
One source told the Mirror: “Aggressive Russian troop movements towards the border have caused a great deal of concern within the Ministry of Defence.
“The situation is being monitored constantly. I would definitely describe this as a growing crisis.”
It was originally thought any attack from Russia would come next month, but now the full might of Vladimir Putin's military machine is expected to close in on the Ukraine within days.
A fleet of Russian warships is already heading towards the Caspian Sea armed with artillery and other weapons to back up Russia's "battle ready" land units.
The Kremlin said in a statement: “As part of the winter training check, more than 10 amphibious and artillery boats and vessels of the southern military district are conducting an inter-fleet move."
The increased threat to the Ukraine comes after one of Putin’s most senior officials, Dmitry Kozak, threatened its neighbour would not survive if Russia took military action.
"I support the assessment that … the start of military action – this would be the beginning of the end of Ukraine," said the deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration.
Kozak insisted that Russia would not act unless Kiev attacked first, but added any military action by Moscow would be "not a shot in the leg, but in the face."
Tensions have soared in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks after Putin ordered tanks, helicopters and military units to the border.
The Russian leader insists the military build up is defensive and that upcoming drills are part of routine "combat readiness" inspections.
Spetsnaz special forces troops and elite paratroopers are among the units now stationed at the tinderbox zone.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops have been called up to protect the border and US advisers are believed to be “in country,” say sources.
Chilling images have also emerged which are said to show powerful nuclear cannons being sent to the region.
At least six 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled mortars – capable of firing warheads 12 miles – were filmed on a flatbed train in southwest Russia earlier this week.
It's reported American intelligence experts now grade the worrying situation as a “potential imminent crisis”.
And Bruce Jones, a Janes Russia expert told the Daily Mirror: “It is difficult to be too alarmist about this situation.
“Russia is giving a lot of evidence that it is pulling out all of the stops in order to be able to wage the widest possible range of hostilities against Ukraine.
“Any such conflict would present a serious challenge to the military capability and resolve of US, EU, NATO which inevitably includes the UK.”
Amid the escalating tensions, the US is considering whether to move its own ships into the Black Sea in a show of support for Ukraine.
President Joe Biden would need to seek permission from Turkey for the move, because it controls the strait which provides access to the sea under the terms of a 1936 treaty.
The US is also continuing to fly reconnaissance planes over the sea to monitor Russian activity and flew two B-1 bombers over the Aegean Sea earlier this week, according to CNN.
US Defence officials believe Russian troops are conducting military exercises and are awaiting military orders, but said that could change at a moment's notice.
The Biden Administration has met with a number of leaders across the globe in discussing the appropriate next steps should tensions escalate.
When asked by reporters during the daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Russia's advancements were "deeply concerning."
"The United States is increasingly concerned by recently escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including Russia's movements on Ukraine's border," she said.
"Russia now has more troops on the border of Ukraine than any time since 2014. Five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed this week alone. These are all deeply concerning signs," Psaki ended.
Russia moved BUK missiles in a region close to Ukraine after warning they "will retaliate" if the US makes any "unfriendly moves" amid the increasing tensions.
The weapons system was used in the rebel-held Donetsk region in 2014 to down a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 killing 298 people.
New satellite images have also revealed a field camp for Russian forces in the same region as the BUK was seen.
The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) highlighted the base which has appeared in recent days.
Ruslan Leviev, from CIT, told BBC Ukraine: "We notice the movement of all the units.
"These are both 'Pskov paratroopers' and motorised infantry units – they are for example, from the Kemerovo region of Siberia, and from Dagestan."
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