Russian President Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert as Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian delegates would meet Russian officials at the Belarus border
Image: SERGEI GUNEYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP via Getty Images)
Vladimir Putin has put his nuclear armed forces on alert in a move that causes alarm and condemnation.
He ordered the military “deterrence” to be ready to deal with what he called “unfriendly” economic sanctions against Russia and “aggressive” words by Western powers.
Military strategists believe that when predicting Ukraine would fall, Putin could use more powerful weapons.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Russia’s use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces would be an “extremely serious” escalation.
Russian state television showed President Putin instructing the defense minister and chief of staff to place their nuclear forces on a “special combat mission mode”.
“Western countries have not only taken unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials of top NATO members have made aggressive statements,” he said. “.
“This is dangerous rhetoric,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. This is… irresponsible.
“And when you combine this rhetoric with what they’re doing on the ground in Ukraine … it adds to the seriousness.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki accused Putin of using tactics he used in the preparations for the invasion, “that is, creating non-existent threats to justify more aggressive action.” again”.
Ms. Truss said that Putin could use “the most unprofitable means” to ensure victory in Ukraine.
The foreign minister added: “I fear that this conflict could be very, very bloody. I urge the Russians not to escalate this conflict, but we need to be prepared for Russia to seek to use even worse weapons.
“I think it will be devastating. We need to avoid this at all costs.”
Andy Stenning / Daily Mirror)
Western officials have previously raised the prospect of Russia using a thermobaric “vacuum bomb” that sucks in oxygen to create a giant, high-temperature explosion.
Ms. Truss said Russian officials could be tried for war crimes “if they entered that arena”.
She added that if Putin is serious about a diplomatic solution, he must withdraw his troops.
“They can’t negotiate with a gun at the head of Ukraine,” Ms. Truss said. She admitted on the BBC that the British government had not acted in years to counter the Russian threat.
She said nothing was “off the table” when asked if Britain would support Ukraine’s call for Russia to lose its seat on the UN Security Council.
Ms Truss also claimed Putin’s attack, which sparked massive protests in Russia, “could be the beginning of the end” for him.
As discontent has grown, there have also been long lines at withdrawal points as Western sanctions have raised fears of banks fleeing.
Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP who chairs the Commons defense committee, has warned Putin could use “radical” military tactics.
He added: “We’ve seen what he’s done in Syria… he can certainly use other weapons systems that haven’t been tested or that we’ve used. Chemical weapons and the worst case scenario would be low-yield nuclear weapons.”
SERGEY BOBOK / AFP via Getty Images)
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MPs want the Russian ambassador kicked out of the UK.
The EU has announced that it will, for the first time, buy and deliver weapons to a country under attack – a package for Ukraine worth around £500 million.
There will be an additional £50 million for medical supplies. The EU will also ban Russian planes, including private jets of oligarchs, from flying over its airspace.
Kremlin-backed media including Russia Today and Sputnik News will be banned from the EU.
European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said this would prevent them from “spreading lies to justify Putin’s war”.
SERGEY BOBOK / AFP via Getty Images)
Evgen Kotenko / Avalon)
Brussels is also extending sanctions against Belarus, which it calls “another aggressor”. Germany has announced a major shift in its decades-old defense policy.
Prime Minister Olaf Scholz has pledged to increase military spending and overhaul the armed forces by £85 billion.
“It is clear that we must invest significantly more in the security of our country, in order to protect our freedoms and our democracy,” he said.
And in a historic turning point with Germany pledging not to export weapons to conflict zones after the war, Scholz also said he would send missiles to Ukraine for use.
The delivery includes 1,000 anti-tank weapons.
Even neutral Sweden will send military equipment to Ukraine.
It will be the first time Sweden has sent weapons to a country in armed conflict since the Soviet Union invaded Finland in 1939.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/putin-puts-nuclear-armed-forces-26343376 Putin puts nuclear armed forces on high alert against Western 'aggression' - World News