What happens if Russia invades Ukraine - would the UK get involved? Potential sanctions explained

Sanctions or more could be imposed on Russia if they proceed with the invasion of Ukraine

Western leaders are preparing for a likely Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russian troops have failed to stand down from the border despite President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that the country was withdrawing.

Instead, US and NATO intelligence confirm that Russian reinforcements have in fact increased, as the country prepares for a potential invasion of its neighbour.

But what would happen if an invasion were to take place? Would the UK get involved in conflict and what sanctions could be put on Russia?

Here’s everything you need to know about the situation.

Will the UK intervene if Russia invades Ukraine?

While the possibility of an invasion and war between Russia and Ukraine is on the horizon, the UK has said that it will not be involved with conflict directly.

NATO, which the UK is a member of, will set up new battle groups across Europe in response to the growing Russian threat.

However, the UK will not declare war on Russia as a result of conflict.

Instead, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said repeatedly that the UK will punish Russia through “severe economic sanctions”.

What sanctions could be imposed on Russia?

US President Joe Biden and Mr Johnson have jointly discussed the likelihood of tough economic sanctions.

This includes a huge economic blow through the reduction in reliance on Russian-sourced gas.

Not only that but there will be international banking transactional sanctions put in place, cutting Russia off from Western markets and investments.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has already announced that the Tier One investor visa - also known as the ‘golden visa’ - will be closed to “clamp down on illicit finance”.

The system allows those with at least £2million in their bank account to enter the UK, with Russian millionaires believed to benefit from the scheme.

Mr Johnson said: “We have already some very tough laws on money laundering, on people laundering ill-gotten gains here in the UK.

“But, clearly, it’s time to bring in some tough sanctions against the Russian regime, against big Russian companies - organisations of strategic importance.

“And also making sure we... stop the raising of funds by Russian companies on London financial markets - that’s a very, very tough sanction that we’ll be bringing in.”

Will the Nord Stream be affected by a Russian invasion?

The Nord Stream pipeline has been of particular focus for sanctions, with the vital gas supply line running from Russia to Germany.

The Nord Stream 2, an as yet unopened new line, offered an important lifeline to Germany after it ditched nuclear energy.

However, President Biden has been insistent on killing the project if Russian proceeds with the invasion of Ukraine, putting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a tricky situation.

What would be the human toll of invasion?

If Russia does proceed with the invasion of Ukraine, then heavy casualties on both sides could be seen.

More than 14,000 people have already died in the Russia-Ukraine conflict since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and this number could spiral if a full out assault was to occur.

Analysts predict that Russian troops would be able to defeat the much smaller Ukrainian military, however it may not spare as many lives as possible on either side with a strong strategic defence expected from Ukraine if war was to break out.

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