A TEARFUL Ukrainian journalist who fled over the border confronted Boris Johnson with demands for Britain to enforce a no-fly zone over her country to protect civilians from Russian bombs.

Daria Kaleniuk emotionally argued to the Prime Minister at a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday that allies from the Nato defence alliance are wrong to rule out the step out of a fear of provoking a nuclear war with Vladimir Putin.

Johnson directly apologised to Kaleniuk for the “tragedy and suffering” because of the Kremlin’s invasion but ruled out allies enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine because of the disastrous consequences that could follow UK forces engaging in combat with Russians.

What is a no-fly zone?

A no-fly zone is an area established by a military power, in which certain aircraft is not allowed. However no-fly zones do not automatically stop planes from flying with zero consequences – instead, it means that planes which do fly in the area get shot down.

According to Olga Oliker, the International Crisis Group’s director for Europe and Central Asia, putting in a no-fly zone is akin to going to war. “It’s a decision to shoot at planes that fly in a given area,” said the author.

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“An NFZ can’t just be established, it must be enforced,” explained Rachel Rizzo of the Atlantic Council’s Europe Centre. “It means Nato allies would have to commit to shooting down Russian planes.”

No-fly zones have been used in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Libya, but according to experts Russia is a different story due to the size of its air force – which is second only to America’s air force.

What did Boris Johnson say to the Ukrainian journalist?

Just as in his conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Johnson said that “unfortunately the implication of that is the UK would be engaged in shooting down Russian planes, would be engaged in direct combat with Russia – that’s not something we can do”.

“I think the consequences of that would be truly very, very difficult to control,” he added.

Instead, Johnson argued Britain must continue with “tightening the economic noose” around the Putin regime and providing further defensive support to Kyiv.

The National:

“In the mean time, as you rightly say, there is going to be a period of suffering for the people of Ukraine for which Putin alone is responsible,” the Prime Minister continued.

“It will take time, I’m afraid, for us to come through this period. All that we can do in the meantime is help people like your crew and your family to get out, to get to safety.”

What does the US think about a no-fly zone?

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was quick to shut the suggestion down. "What that would require is implementation by the US military," she told reporters. "It would essentially mean the US military would be shooting down planes – Russian planes. That is definitely escalatory, and would potentially put us in a place in a military conflict with Russia. That is not something the president wants to do."