Russian warships escorted through English Channel by Royal Navy vessels amid WW3 fears

RUSSIAN warships have been escorted by Royal Navy vessels through the English Channel amid mounting World War Three fears.

The HMS Tyne and HMS Dragon were dispatched to escort the three vessels “as part of a unified response” from the West.

Three Russian warships have been escorted by Royal Navy vessels
A satellite picture is said to show a military storage facility and troop camps at Klimovo, Russia, close to Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus

The Ministry of Defence said: “Royal Navy ships HMS Tyne and HMS Dragon have escorted three Russian warships through the North Sea and English Channel as part of a unified response with allies.

“They took over from the Dutch Navy and will pass onto the Marine Nationale to continue the escort.”

It follows the announcement of Moscow’s Ministry of Defence that Vladimir Putin plans to hold naval drills in the Atlantic, Arctic, Mediterranean and Pacific this month.

Over the coming weeks, war games with Putin ally Belarus will include more than 140 warships and support vessels – as well as 60 aircraft, 1,000 piece of military equipment – and around 10,000 servicemen, the defence ministry said.

It comes amid growing fears of a WW3 following reports that Moscow has massed 100,000 troops with tanks and missiles batteries in a threat to invade Ukraine.

New evidence that emerged yesterday suggested troops massing within striking distance of Kiev.

Forces are in Belarus less than 20 miles from Ukraine’s frontier, after a surge in troop and equipment movements in recent days from Russia’s far east.

The families of troops expect them to be involved in a lengthy war after being told they could be away from home for nine months.

New videos show invasion drills by paratroopers ahead of hastily arranged joint “exercises” with Putin ally Belarus.

And trains carrying rocket launchers, armoured vehicles and communication trucks have been spotted near Belarus towns Gomel and Rechitsa, according to an analysis by DFRLab.

Military police – essential in an invasion – are among the forces moved close to Ukraine, reported another study by Radio Liberty and the Conflict Intelligence Team.

Russia said the drills are a response to a military build-up in Poland and Lithuania, which border Ukraine.

Boris Johnson has warned it would be a “disaster for the world” if Russia invades Ukraine and added “any kind of incursion, on any scale” would be catastrophic as NATO allies attempt to talk Vladimir Putin down from an attack the Pentagon says is “imminent”.

It comes after three amphibious assault ships sailed through the English Channel to reinforce its Black Sea fleet.

The Ropucha-class landing ships were escorted by HMS Dragon.

The independent Conflict Intelligence Team reported Russian military hardware had been detected in Belarus, 24 miles from Ukraine.

Earlier this month a Royal Navy warship hit a submerged Russian submarine in the first collision between Russian and Royal Navy vessels since the end of the Cold War.

A Russian armoured convoy moves through Crimea down the highway

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