Lord Dannatt, the former army chief, said that despite Ukraine’s wishes, it would be a mistake to send British troops to war against Russia.
He told the Telegraph: “It’s one thing to support a sovereign nation to secure its own territory with a contribution of arms, ammunition and training, but it’s quite another to ask British soldiers to risk and to lose your life for this principle, as important as this principle is.
Last week the Foreign Office was told to prepare for ‘crisis mode’ as weapons were flown from Britain to Ukraine to defend it against a Russian invasion, while Ms Truss warned that Russia should “back off” from invading Ukraine or risk being dragged into a “terrible quagmire”.
Tensions in the English Channel
Last night, amid growing tensions between Russia and the UK, the Royal Navy was forced to escort three Russian ships across the English Channel from the Baltic.
They were escorted by HMS Tyne and then HMS Dragon, which the MoD said was “a normal response to transiting warships from other nations”.
Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, the US State Department ordered the evacuation of family members of diplomats from Kyiv. Non-essential staff were also given the option to leave.
He also advised US citizens to consider leaving. However, the number involved is unknown, senior State Department officials said.
“There are reports that Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine,” the department said in a statement.
“Security conditions, especially along Ukraine’s borders, in Russian-occupied Crimea and in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate without notice.”
The move was announced by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier in the day when he appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press show.
“I have no higher responsibility than the safety and well-being of the people who work for the State Department and who are in my care, in a sense,” he said.
“So we are following that very, very closely. We really look at it on a daily basis.
“And if we have to decide to bring in certain people from the embassy, we will do so based on security needs.” he added.
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned that Russia could invade at any moment.
Mr Blinken, who met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov last week, said the Russians had a choice between aggression or diplomacy.
“I tried to clarify both paths when I met with Foreign Minister Lavrov in Geneva…and we’ll see if we can move diplomacy forward. But even while we’re doing that, we’re preparing, building defenses, let’s build deterrence if Russia chooses the other way,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.