‘Putin has nowhere to go…We should expect nuclear weapons’: Top British military commander warns Russian leader could lash out if he faces humiliation of defeat in Ukraine
- Retired Major General Jonathan Shaw says Putin can’t do much else in wartime
- Comes as Ukrainian advances continued yesterday and Russians floundered
- Dozens of towns and villages were liberated within hours by the Ukrainians
- Kremlin troops have retreated about ten kilometers, according to the pro-Russian army
The UK should expect Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons as he faces inevitable defeat in Ukraine, a senior British military commander has suggested.
Retired Major General Jonathan Shaw said there was little else the Russian president could do given the failure of his conventional forces.
His shock warning came as Ukrainian advances continued yesterday, particularly near the southern city of Kherson, where the Russian front line collapsed, sources on both sides of the conflict say.
Dozens of towns and villages were liberated within hours after Russian forces withdrew, reportedly cut off from their supply lines.
Kremlin troops withdrew about 15 kilometers away, according to pro-Russian military bloggers.
Yesterday the Royal Navy confirmed that a frigate had been sent to the North Sea to protect the gas pipelines.
Retired Major General Jonathan Shaw, pictured in 2007, said there was little else the Russian president could do given the failure of his conventional forces.
NATO would also have warned its members that Russia could soon test a nuclear warhead.
Sightings of a “nuclear train” near Moscow have raised concerns. He is said to belong to the secret 12th main directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense, responsible for nuclear weapons.
The broadcast of images of the train could be a Kremlin propaganda stunt.
Armored vehicles, including one with a cannon, were seen boarding the train and heading north from the Russian capital. Their destination remained unclear last night.
It is one of many developments that suggest the Kremlin is preparing to escalate the conflict.
The Russian president has threatened to use ‘all available means’ to protect areas of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian troops and annexed by the Kremlin
Putin is preparing to move to a nuclear-proof bunker with his family, according to Russian anti-Kremlin outlet General SVR. Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers drive armored vehicles on a road near Yatskivka
There are also fears that Russia could launch the Poseidon, a nuclear-capable torpedo drone, from a submarine. Tests should be carried out in the Kara Sea – between Siberia and the Arctic.
As Deputy Chief of the British Defense Staff, Major-General Shaw was responsible for maintaining the military component of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. He said: “Putin has nowhere to go. So we should expect nuclear weapons.
“He changes the rules of the nuclear age. The dark defensive logic of MAD [mutually assured destruction – the nuclear weapons deterrence theory] must be replaced by offensive blackmail: yield or be bombarded. The implications are profound.
“I just hope the Chinese can pull the rug out from under him, because they too would suffer from a nuclear war in Eurasia.” For Putin, there is only one way out of his predicament and that is nuclear power.
The Russian president threatened to use “all available means” to protect the areas of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian troops and annexed by the Kremlin.
Putin is preparing to move to a nuclear-proof bunker with his family, according to Russian anti-Kremlin outlet General SVR. He has several bunkers in Siberia and the Altai Mountains near China and will make “key decisions” from there, he said.