DORSET'S MPs have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as the UK prepares to impose tough economic sanctions against the Kremlin.

Speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's address to the nation yesterday afternoon, South Dorset MP Richard Drax warned there could be catastrophic consequences if Moscow advances into a NATO member state - calling upon the West to "pull its socks up" and strengthen its military forces.

West Dorset MP Chris Loder said he was "outraged" by the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and slammed yesterday's invasion as a "flagrant breach of international law."

Russian forces advanced through Ukraine throughout Thursday in the biggest attack on a European state since the Second World War.

The UK, US, UN, EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) have promised to stand by Ukraine and do what they can to protect their ally.

Commenting yesterday afternoon South Dorset's Richard Drax MP - himself a former soldier - said: "I never thought I would live to see the day that the world is threatened in the way it is now.

"An attack on Ukraine is an attack on the free, democratic world that the West inhabits and that should not be forgotten when we watch this poor country being subjugated by an appalling bully.

"The whole thing is beyond the imagination. The freedom and peace that we have so taken for granted for more than 80 years may be shattered."

World War Three

The South Dorset MP believes that, sadly, Russia will succeed in its attempts to conquer Ukraine - with a grim warning: "The worst-case scenario is if Russian troops put one footstep into a NATO member country - if Putin in his deluded way wishes to return Russia's borders to how they were during the Cold War - then there's a very real threat to the relatively new members of NATO - not least the Baltic states - who are very nervous.

"If Putin in his deluded ivory tower decides to keep going then we, as one of 30 other members, will react militarily.

"We will be facing World War Three."

He added: "Now that is a long way off - but I think it is something we can't discount. The question is, how far is (Putin) going to go? None of us can answer that."

But yesterday Boris Johnson suggested that Russia attacking a NATO country is an “appalling possibility” and said the UK would come to the defence of NATO allies if attacked.

Sanctions against Russia

The prime minister has imposed "the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen” and confirmed the UK was among the first European nations to send arms to Ukraine.

During his address to the nation Boris Johnson said: “I am proud that Britain did everything within our power to help Ukraine prepare for this onslaught and we will do our utmost to offer more help as our brave friends defend their homeland.”

Asked whether he thinks the UK would be safer from potential threat from Russia if the PM had not taken such an active stance, South Dorset's MP said, "Absolutely not.

"Evidence shows Putin has been planning this for years - for example by moving his troops to the Ukrainian border for an exercise last year, before leaving kit on the border."

'Nuclear warfare'

Mr Drax believes the Russian president's threat yesterday, of 'action like you've never seen it before' can only mean one thing: "nuclear warfare."

"You can see by their training exercises they take their nuclear ability very seriously," he added.

"(Putin) is so mad, who knows what he could do if NATO gets involved militarily (in defence of Ukraine.)"

He said the West needs to become a stronger military force, "pull its socks up," and invest in its armed forces, and that the current situation proves the need for an independent energy sector and food independence.

But the risk of financial downturn is imminent - and Dorset residents will "very much feel the force" of spiralling living costs, Mr Drax has warned.


'Wait and see,' says west Dorset's MP

Speaking ahead of Boris Johnson's 5pm address yesterday, MP for West Dorset Chris Loder said he hopes war and possible nuclear action are not on the cards - but added that "when you have a country that is going to invade - where do they stop?"

"If this ramps up the people of west Dorset, and the whole of the UK may be affected, depending on whether sanctions or other action may be taken," he said.

"Places like Germany and others are in a much more difficult place than us, as they are dependent on Russian gas supply. We shall see in the coming days and weeks what impact this will have here."

What Ukraine has said

On Wednesday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional televised address in Russian following the approval of a 30-day state-of-emergency order that handed the government sweeping powers in the interest of national security.

“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace. But if we come under attack that threatens our freedom and lives of our people we will fight back,” he said, as he rejected Moscow’s claim Ukraine is a threat to Russia.

Ukrainian defences 'eliminated'

Yesterday evening it was reported that Russia had "eliminated" Ukraine's air defences and had gained "complete air superiority over Ukraine," according to a senior Western intelligence officer.

He said intelligence suggested Russia would look to remove the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky "either through 'decapitation' or through other pressure".