The announcement President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian nuclear forces to be put on high alert has been branded “a distraction” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The dramatic escalation of East-West tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was said to be in  response to whatPutin called “aggressive statements” by leading Nato powers.

The order has raised fears the crisis could boil over into nuclear warfare, whether by design or miscalculation.


Following a service at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Mayfair, London, tonight, the PM was asked what his message to President Putin is.

Mr Johnson said: “I think that’s a distraction from the reality of what’s going on in Ukraine.

“This is an innocent people who are facing a totally unprovoked act of aggression against them, and what’s actually happening is that they are fighting back perhaps with more effect, with more resistance, than the Kremlin had bargained for.

“And I think that is what is really going on and you can see some of the logistical difficulties that the Russian forces are experiencing.

“You can see and I think that the Russian Defence Ministry have themselves conceded that they’re having casualties. This is a disastrous misbegotten venture by President Putin.

“It can lead to no good whatever for Russia as we in the West have said continuously from the beginning. It needs to end. If he has a proposal to negotiate and withdraw, then all the better.”