The UK government will slam sanctions on Putin’s regime, the health secretary said this morning.

This follows the launch of an effective invasion of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions yesterday evening  as Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered tanks across the border into provinces he officially recognised as independent from Ukraine on Monday afternoon.

Putin alleged that his troops were undergoing out “peacekeeping functions”.

Prime minister Boris Johnson chaired an emergency Cobra meeting over the crisis at 6:30 this morning.

Javid told Sky News: “We are waking up to a very dark day in Europe and it’s clear from what we have already seen and found out today that the Russians, President Putin, has decided to attack the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity.”

“We have seen that he has recognised these breakaway eastern regions in Ukraine and from the reports we can already tell that he has sent in tanks and troops,” the Bromsgrove MP went on.

“From that you can conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun,” he explained.

He later told the BBC that the UK will stand by its previous assertions that British troops will be sent to Ukraine.

“We’ve always preferred dialogue and still continue to do so but it’s clear from President Putin’s actions that he has chosen confrontation over dialogue.”

It is unclear what level of sanctions will be imposed, as western leaders will likely vie for a unified approach on the matter. Some will likely argue that incursion into Donbass do not amount to a full invasion of Ukraine given the long-term presence of Russian operatives and proxies in the area.