Ukraine’s president says Russia invasion of Ukraine will lead to European war

There will be a “full-scale” war across Europe if Russia decides to invade Ukraine, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Tuesday.

What happened: Zelenskyy, who spoke after a meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday, said that any battle with Russia would impact all of Europe.

  • “There will be, unfortunately, a tragedy if the escalation against our state begins. That is why I openly say: this will not be a war between Ukraine and Russia — this will be a war in Europe, full-scale war, because no one will give up their territories and people anymore,” he told reporters after speaking with Johnson,

Another move: On Tuesday, Zelenskyy signed a decree that would increase the size of Ukraine’s armed forces by 100,000 troops within the next three years, per Reuters.

  • The decree also raises soldier salaries.
  • “This decree (was prepared) not because we will soon have a war … but so that soon and in the future there will be peace in Ukraine,” Zelenskyy told lawmakers, according to Reuters.

State of play: Tension has been rising between Ukraine and Russia in recent weeks as Russia has amassed a major military setup on Ukraine’s border.

  • Russia’s President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of trying to draw Russia into a war with Ukraine so that the U.S. could impose sanctions on Russia.
  • New satellite images from Maxar technologies showed “an increase in tents designed to accommodate troops at a number of Russian bases,” Sky News reports.
  • On Wednesday, President Joe Biden approved the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to Eastern Europe, moving troops into Romania, Germany and Poland.
  • “These forces are not going to fight in Ukraine,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters Wednesday, according to CNN.
  • Russia responded by saying the U.S. was trying to build tension between Ukraine and Russia by adding troops into Europe, according to BBC News.

The bottom line: It’s still unclear if Russia will invade. But the scope of the matter is beyond the region. Europe — as well as Europe’s allies, like the United States — could be impacted by a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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