Russia could drop bombs on Ukraine within minutes of Vladimir Putin directing the order as World War 3 escalate, the UK government has warned.
The warning comes after armed forces minister James Heappey urged Brits to flee the country on Friday, as fears grow that a Russian invasion could shut down airspace.
The minister said the UK swiftly changed its advice after being alerted that Russia has brought in "combat enablers" in the shape of fuel, medical supplies and bridging assets.
"My fear is it [an invasion] is very imminent, that's not to say it's definitely going to happen," Mr Heappey said.
"This is a warning because minutes after Putin gives the order, missiles and bombs could be landing on Ukrainian cities."
He also confirmed that the UK plans to support Ukraine in its choice on whether or not it wants to become a member of NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organisation).
But people were left puzzled over the weekend after the Ukrainian ambassador told the UK that Kyiv was willing to be "flexible" over its aim to join the military alliance.
Ukraine has before raised its hopes to become a NATO member but Moscow, who has denied they are going to invade, said this could cause it to become a launch pad for NATO missiles targeted at Russia – which explains why thousands of troops are at the border.
Fears Russia will 'invade Ukraine in days with no notice' as Brits told to flee country
However, today (February 14) ambassador Vadym Prystaiko explained his remarks and said the former Soviet republic would not reconsider joining NATO.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry said the ambassador's remarks were "taken out of context" and Ukraine's "immediate accession" to the military alliance would be the best security assurance for Ukraine.
However, they stressed that something needs to be done immediately as the threat is impending.
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Prior to the clarification, Mr Heappey said: "If Ukraine decides that it is going to offer that it won't become a NATO member we support that, that's for the Ukrainians to decide.
"Similarly, if Ukraine wanted to reserve its position and say that in the future it may want to join NATO, we would support that too because that's what sovereignty is and that's what we support."
On Monday morning, finance ministers from G7 nations, including British Chancellor Rishi Sunak, said they are ready to act "swiftly and decisively" to help the Ukrainian economy if Russia attacks.
If there is any greater military aggression from Moscow, a coordinated response will be formed with economic sanctions that will have a "massive" impact on the Russian economy, the ministers warned.
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