The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, in an interview with Sky News said that he fears that Putin could kill millions of people in Ukraine.
Boris Johnson again ruled out a no-fly zone – and admitted that he cannot see a way out unless Russia withdraws.
“His best bet, I think, is to withdraw, to cease the violence and to allow a peaceful negotiation to begin,” Johnson said.
The UK prime minister admitted that he had had “deeply upsetting” conversations with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who is demanding a no-fly zone.
NATO allies including the UK have ruled out a no-fly zone due to the fear it would lead to all-out war between the nuclear-armed alliance and nuclear-armed Russia.
Boris Johnson warned “there’s a line that is very difficult to cross”, adding: “I just want to stress that there’s no Western country where that is on the agenda.”
Boris Johnson called for Russia to pay “reparations” to Ukraine and said Putin had abandoned “all norms of civilised behaviour” after bombing a maternity hospital.
According to reports the attack on Wednesday was said to have killed three people, including a child, and injured 17 others. It led to renewed calls from President Volodymyr Zelensky for Western warplanes to intervene.