FRESH from his triumphant weekend trip to Kyiv, Boris Johnson is already working on new plans to drive Mad Vlad out of Ukraine.
The PM was greeted as a war hero by President Volodymyr Zelensky as he promised an extra £100million of tanks and rockets to defend against Putin’s rape and carnage.
But what Zelensky really wants is the air power, block-buster missiles and heavy artillery to go on the offensive and kick the Kremlin monster out of his country for ever.
He must smash Putin’s ramshackle army while it is on its knees and destroy enemy bases — inside Russia if necessary — before Moscow has time to regroup.
Without more lethal firepower Ukraine faces a long and bloody conflict with ever-growing pressure to accept a ceasefire — another word for a Putin victory.
So far, American President “Sleepy Joe” Biden has refused to cross a so-called “red line” by upgrading to offensive weapons.
Boris Johnson, backed by Cabinet ministers, believes that must change.
“The West has had a really big wake-up call,” says one insider.
“We cannot be intimidated by Putin’s sabre-rattling and threats to use nukes.
“We must supply missiles with the range to hit airfields inside Russian territory, plus helicopters and modern warplanes, with training for Ukrainian pilots to fly them if necessary.”
Another minister wants Biden to stop dithering and approve the dispatch of Polish Air Force MiG jets, built in the Soviet era and familiar to Ukrainian pilots.
So far all calls for increased military firepower have been blocked by Biden for fear of antagonising Putin.
That argument was lost last week, amid images of the bloodbath in Bucha and the cluster-bomb attack on women and children at Kramatorsk railway station.
The world was repulsed by a message daubed on the missile casing: “This is for the children.”
Women have been raped and murdered as weapons of war, children’s corpses mined with booby traps, war crimes captured in shocking photographs.
Even the feeble UN was moved to kick Russia out of its sickening role on the human rights committee.
World leaders are aware they cannot turn a blind eye. They now know inaction will stoke future conflict.
“Slowly but steadily they are shifting position,” Zelensky adviser Ivor Zhovkva told TV news channels yesterday.
“Yes, we need defensive weapons first of all, but other kinds of weapons are most important.
“We need air defence systems to protect our skies.
“We need anti-ship missiles to protect major cities like Odessa from capture from the sea. We need weapons, weapons, weapons.”
The fear is that Russia will dig in for a long war, counting on the West — especially Germany and France — to press Zelensky into a deal which saves their own economies.
But any deal which leaves Russia in control of Ukrainian territory after these atrocities would be a victory for Putin — and a defeat for Ukraine and the West.
And it would embolden Putin to make future threats to countries such as Finland, Poland and the Baltic states.
Yet this war has shown Russia as a poor country on the verge of collapse.
It is beset by Aids and alcoholism, with an ageing population and a dramatic brain drain as money making middle classes leave the country in droves.
Murderous gangsters have grabbed Russia’s richest industries. Putin himself sits on a £50billion fortune, surrounded by ex-KGB comrades.
Would desperate Putin resort to weapons of mass destruction?
That gamble has already been taken.
The proverbial red line has indeed been crossed — by Putin the monstrous war criminal.
This bloodthirsty tyrant cannot be allowed to win.
He cannot even be allowed a face-saver which would keep him in power.
Would China come to his rescue? Highly unlikely.
Putin has shocked Beijing, not by his unprovoked thuggery but by his abject failure to secure his objective.
China expected a walkover, with America humbled, leaving it free to invade Taiwan.
None of that is now possible.
China has stepped back. Putin is on his own.
Only a failure of nerve in the White House can let Mad Vlad off the hook now.
RISHI SUNAK is too nice for cynical frontline politics.
Even the cut-throat world of Goldman Sachs – the infamous “Giant Squid” – could not prepare him for grubby, back-stabbing party politics.
High intelligence and good intentions are worthless in the Westminster jungle without rat-like cunning.
Rishi was already halfway up the greasy Cabinet pole before he learned the first lesson: “Trust nobody.”
His critics know he is no tax-dodging opportunist. He just didn’t see it coming.
If the Chancellor is brought down by Non-Domgate, it will be through naivety, not greedy self-enrichment.