Vladimir Putin is ready to declare ‘imaginable war’ against Ukraine ‘within days’ in retaliation for humiliating military losses, Russian sources and Western officials fear.
We know – there is already a war going on in Ukraine which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the slaughter of innocent civilians.
But all this time, Moscow has banned its media from using the term ‘war’ and has insisted that it is a ‘special military operation’ to demilitarize and ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine.
As the invasion approaches its third month, army commanders have called on Putin to officially declare war, which means things could still get worse for Russia’s neighbor.
This would allow for mass mobilization of the population, meaning that reservists would be called up and conscripts would be kept beyond their one-year tenure.
Putin would also be able to declare martial law, which would allow the closure of Russia’s borders and the nationalization of large chunks of the economy.
Former NATO chief Richard Sherriff has warned that the West must ‘arm’ itself into a ‘worst case scenario’ with Russia.
He told BBC Radio 4: ‘The worst case scenario is war with Russia. By equipping itself for the worst case scenario, it is highly likely that it will deter Putin because Putin ultimately respects strength. ‘
A Russian military source told the Telegraph that the top people are ‘outraged that the lightning strike in Kiev has failed’.
“People in the army are seeking reimbursement for past failures and they want to go further in Ukraine,” they added.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said Putin could use Russia’s Victory Day Parade on May 9 to announce mass mobilization of troops for his neighbor.
“He’s probably going to declare … that we are now at war with the Nazis of the world and we need to mass mobilize the Russian people,” he added.
Some analysts have suggested that Putin wanted to be in a position where he could declare some kind of victory on May 9 – marking Germany’s defeat in World War II.
But this seems increasingly unlikely, and that’s why some officials fear the tyrant may screw up.
In late March, Putin’s forces began withdrawing from the Kyiv region after failing to occupy the capital.
They left horrific evidence of war crimes – as hundreds of bodies were found along the streets and stacked in mass graves in surrounding towns such as Irpin and Bucha.
Russia said it was withdrawing to focus its efforts on the south and east of the country and to ‘liberate’ the Donbas region, which is held by pro-Moscow militias.
But airstrikes on Kiev have still been under way – including during a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Earlier this week, Putin made threats to use nuclear weapons, after Russia announced plans to launch the dizzyingly powerful Satan II missile this fall.
But by insisting that Britain does not feel ‘rattled’, Wallace told LBC: ‘We are part of a NATO partnership of 30 nations that has overcome him, surpassed him and potentially has all the capabilities at our disposal.
‘I do not fear him and I think we should be very grateful in this country that we have a nuclear deterrent.’
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