Putin’s Protective Service dispatched to check for explosives underwater at the bridge
Vladimir Putin’s army are being pushed to “breaking point” with morale and leadership in the Ukraine war plummeting, with one expert sending a horror warning to Russia if it decides to use nuclear weapons.
The war is reaching another crucial point, with Ukraine’s much-anticipated counter-offensive picking up a significant pace in recent days and piling huge pressure on Vladimir Putin and the Russian army.
Significantly the Kerch Bridge – a major transport route linking Russia to Moscow-annexed Crimea – was attacked for the second time in the space of a year. Ukrainian officials have not yet taken responsibility for the blast.
The US is also ramping up its support for the war-torn country by sending it potentially destructive cluster bombs.
Nicholas Drummond, a former British Army officer who is now a defense industry analyst and consultant specializing in land warfare believes the use of cluster bombs could be a “significant” turning point and make a “big difference”.
READ MORE: Flailing Putin struggling to exert power after ‘crisis of command’ among troops
When asked about his view on the conflict over the coming weeks, he told Daily Express US: “All things being equal, Ukraine will make headway and recover lost ground.
“By September, we should see significant gains but we won’t see the complete collapse of the Russian army.
“Having said that, morale and leadership on the ground, resupply, weapons – they are all pushed to breaking point and when Ukraine uses cluster munitions, you could see Russian units running away and that would be significant.”
Drummond added: “The provision of cluster munitions will make a big difference. Ukraine is keeping up the pressure along a very long line, probing for weaknesses, and when they find one, they will exploit it.”
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There are fears that with Putin’s back against the wall, Putin could follow through with his veiled threats and use nuclear weapons in the war, which would be a horrifying prospect for the rest of the world.
But such threats have sparked a furious reaction from some of Russia’s biggest global allies – including China – whose president Xi Jinping has reportedly personally warned Putin against using nuclear weapons.
Drummond warned if Putin were to ignore these warnings and press ahead with the use of nuclear weapons, the Russian army would be smashed with a devastating barrage from NATO that would quickly wipe out their forces on the ground.
He said: “NATO would likely attack the Russian army in Ukraine immediately and literally completely destroy it and remove it through massive air attacks. The war would then be over in two weeks – like it was in the first Gulf War.
“The sheer weight of firepower dropped on the Iraqis prior to the ground assault rendered them completely ineffective logistically so we could wade straight in and take out the forces on the ground.
“It wouldn’t necessarily remove Putin from power because we would not attack in Russia, but he has probably been told if he uses nuclear weapons during the Ukraine war, the response will be rapid and considerable.”
The move from Xi to deter Putin from using such weapons is central in China repairing increasingly strained relations with Europe, according to a senior adviser to the Chinese government who spoke to the Financial Times.
The defense industry expert warned close ally and global superpower China would “completely disown” Putin if he uses tactical nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war – leading to the “collapse of Russia”.
“It’s important to say if Russia succeeded now and used tactical nuclear weapons, it would have to deal with a Ukrainian insurgency for the next 40 years, and you just can’t win those types of wars anymore.
“Putin has threatened to deploy the Satan 2 nuclear missile. He is a bully, and bullies like to use threats. But he knows if he starts using tactical nuclear weapons, it’s all over for Russia.
“China will completely disown him and if they come onto our side against Putin, then there would be huge ramifications for Russia.”
The expert continued: “We would see the collapse of Russia (if Putin deploys tactical nuclear weapons).
“You could have a situation where the West would destroy the Russian army on the ground in two or three days. If you start applying massive air power, and first take out their air defenses.
“What he doesn’t want to do is trigger a massive over-response from the West. This underlines the seriousness of the situation.”
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