A secret SAS unit has been placed on standby in order to "extract" UK officials from Ukraine should a conflict with Russia break out in the near future, it has been reported.
It comes as fears grow over tensions between the two countries continue to rise.
The Daily Mirror has revealed that members of SAS E Squadron will mount a rescue should Russian forces plough deep into Ukrainian territory.
The situation on the border of the country remains precarious with as many as 126,000 Russian combat forces now perched on the divide.
Frighteningly the Russian army units massed on the Ukrainian border include both ground troops and amphibious attack personnel.
It's thought that the simultaneous movement of Russian forces into neighbouring Belarus puts Ukraine’s capital Kiev even more at risk if President Vladimir Putin orders a full-scale invasion.
The Russian army has ordered rocket systems be brought into Belarus which could then be used as a launch point for an invasion.
In more dour potential World War Three news, President Joe Biden has already warned he believes an attack is “imminent” and bungled by hinting an American response depends on the severity of an incursion.
However, many observers believe full-scale invasion is unlikely.
Although should one occur British Foreign Office officials may be rescued by special forces.
It is believed crack UK special forces may also be placed strategically within Ukraine acting as military advisers, along with US counterparts.
One security source said: “British intelligence is watching developments all over Ukraine but in particular in Crimea, which is occupied by Russian forces.
“All of the other manoeuvres may have been a ruse to deflect from Crimea and Putin may want to expand it towards contested Donbas.”
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However, when questioned by the paper, the UK Ministry of Defence refused to comment, stating: "We do not comment on special forces."
But how likely is Russia to actually invade?
Soberingly according to Hugo Crosthwaite, lead analyst for Eurasia at security intelligence firm Dragonfly, the answer is 'likely'.
Mr Crosthwaite said the likely Russian plan was to get concessions on Ukrainian NATO membership and Donbas.
He said: “A Russian invasion of Ukraine is a likely scenario in the coming weeks.
“There have been several military and diplomatic developments that point to a sustained severe interstate conflict risk, including Russian troops deploying to Belarus and further efforts by the Kremlin to create a pretext for an attack.
“The combined efforts of the US, the EU and NATO to deter Russia in recent months appear to have failed."
Mr Crosthwaite added that Russia can now begin ground operations or launch a "devastating missile" attack with little or no notice.
But he said it's doubtful Russian forces would attack Kiev as movements are continually assessed, stating he believes the country's main goal would be to force the Ukranian president to resign.
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