MAD Vlad could unleash nuclear weapons to avenge his army’s crushing defeat in a “tipping point” battle in northeastern Ukraine.
The Russian tyrant’s forces appear to have suffered an astonishing collapse, with Ukraine reclaiming huge swathes of territory from the invaders.
A billion dollars worth of weapons have been lost and nearly 3000 soldiers killed with thousands more taken prisoner.
That’s prompted Nato’s ex-deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller to warn Putin may order the use of nuclear weapons in a bid to turn the tide in the war.
“I fear that they will strike back now in really unpredictable ways and ways that may even involve weapons of mass destruction,” she said.
Fears of an H-bomb overreaction follow growing calls from hawks in Moscow to fully the gloves off to crush Ukraine’s resistance.
READ MORE ON UKRAINE WAR
Moment Russian missile sparks shockwaves in Ukraine power plant blitz
Ukraine grabs swathes of Russian-held territory in stunning counter-attack
The former US diplomat warned Russia could order a “nuclear demonstration strike, either a single strike over the Black Sea or perhaps a strike at Ukrainian military facility in order to strike terror not only into the hearts of the Ukrainian but also the global partners and allies of Ukraine”.
Her warning comes as Ukraine’s top general also said a direct threat exists that Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons in the country.
In a chilling warning, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said Putin’s order to use nukes could then take us to the brink of World War 3.
Ukraine’s defenders captured a swathe of territory in the northeastern Kharkiv province, with US officials claiming the victory could mark a turning point in the war.
Most read in News
Three countries BANNED from attending Queen's funeral
Thousands of mourners queue through the night to see Queen lying in state
James Bond icon George Lazenby 'booed off stage' after 'belittling the Queen'
Queen's four children bow their heads in moving vigil as they guard her coffin
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said his troops had freed more than 6,000 square kilometres of land in just 12 days in a stunning surprise attack.
The lionhearted leader – who signed a condolence book for the Queen – urged allies to weapons so that his army could press home its advantage.
Former British Army boss General Lord Richard Dannatt said it was vital to send more weapons to "keep the pressure up on Russia”.
The Kharkiv retreat was Russia’s worst defeat since the rout from Kyiv last spring.
It followed months of grinding artillery duels which saw Russia slowly blasting forward in Donbas by destroying everything in its path.
Britain said Russia’s most recent losses had hobbled its armed forces and would take many years to recover from.
The Ministry of Defence said: “Russia’s conventional force designed to counter Nato is severely weakened.
“It will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability.”
Ukraine successfully duped Russia into reinforcing southern Kherson which left the north exposed.
The Institute for the Study of War said Ukraine’s lightning offensive had collapsed Russia's northern Donbas axis"
Russia had already lost some 80,000 troops either killed, captured, injured or to desertion, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace revealed.
Ukraine said it captured so many new prisoners of war on its most recent assault it was struggling to house them.
Among the troops who fled northeastern Kharkiv were members of the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA).
Read More on The Sun
Scottish Power customers to get £400 rebate direct into bank accounts
I started selling bracelets from my lounge floor – I turned over £250k year 2
The MoD said: “1 GTA had been one of the most prestigious of Russia’s armies, allocated for the defence of Moscow, and intended to lead counter-attacks in the case of a war with NATO.”
It said they were now “severely degraded”.
Source: Read Full Article