Putin to ‘raise stakes’ with ‘horrible’ war plan in Ukraine: ‘Backed into corner’

Putin has his 'back against the wall' says Lord Robathan

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The Russian President began his invasion of Ukraine almost four weeks ago, the conflict having since killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed swathes of the country. As Moscow continues to attack populated areas, some 100,000 people remain trapped in the besieged port city of Mariupol in the south of the country. Citizens there have no food, water or medicine, and are under a constant barrage of missile and rocket fire, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

But, things have not all gone to plan for Putin, with many experts having suggested that the Russian expected to swoop in and swiftly take Ukraine with little resistance.

As he becomes increasingly desperate not to face a prolonged and humiliating war, many fear that Russia could unleash nuclear and chemical warfare.

Professor Nikolai Petrov, a senior research fellow on the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, claims that Putin could use nuclear weapons as part of his “horrible” war plan as he feels his troops are losing momentum in Ukraine.

When asked by Express.co.uk whether Putin may feel as though he is being backed into a corner, Prof Petrov said: “Yes. But I think it is very dangerous to corner him, because he is raising the stakes all the time.

“So, if he thinks that his arguments do not work in the way he wants, he should increase these arguments.

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“He should do something absolutely horrible, even against the background of what is going on in Ukraine in order for his offer to be accepted.”

He added: “It can take place on an even bigger scale, even with the use of tactical nuclear weapons.”

In a similar eerie warning, Joe Biden claimed on Monday that Putin may use chemical weapons as he feels his “back is against the wall”.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, recently refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons as he spoke to CNN.

The US condemned the remarks, as the Pentagon said: “It is not the way a responsible nuclear power should act”.

President Joe Biden said his Russian counterpart could be gearing up for another “false flag” attack as he claims that Ukraine is using the controversial weapons, thus giving Moscow a pretext for also using them.

Speaking at a business event in Washington DC, Mr Biden said: “His back is against the wall.

“And now he’s talking about new false flags he’s setting up, including asserting that we, in America, have biological as well as chemical weapons in Europe — simply not true. I guarantee you.

“They’re also suggesting that Ukraine has biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine. That’s a clear sign he is considering using both of those.”

The warnings amid signs that Russian advances in Ukraine have stalled.

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Western officials have claimed that Russian troops in Ukraine are facing shortages of food and fuel.

Some soldiers are also suffering from frostbite, according to a US Department of Defence official, who briefed CBS News.

Ukrainians are also reported to be on the verge of reclaiming territory seized by the Russians, including Izyum and Kherson.

In its latest intelligence update, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said on Monday that most Russian troops have “largely stalled in place” across Ukraine.

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It also said: “Despite heavy fighting, Ukrainian forces continue to repulse Russian attempts to occupy the southern city of Mariupol.”

It added: “Several Ukrainian cities continue to suffer heavy Russian air and artillery bombardment with the UN reporting that more than 10 million Ukrainians are now internally displaced as a result of Russia’s invasion.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military claimed that their forces have won back a large suburb of Kyiv.

Makariv, around 60km (37 miles) west of the capital was reportedly retaken on Tuesday.

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