VLADIMIR PUTIN could drop a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine today amid Victory Day celebrations to “change the shape of the war”, an expert has warned Express.co.uk.
By JACOB PAUL
07:01, Mon, May 9, 2022 | UPDATED: 08:36, Mon, May 9, 2022
Putin could ‘broaden enemy’ to NATO and US on May victory day
On May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day to commemorate the country’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. James Nixey, director of the Russia-Eurasia Programme at Chatham House told CNN that the celebration is “designed to show off to the home crowd, to intimidate the opposition and to please the dictator of the time”. And according to weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, Russia could use this special day to send its most terrifying warning yet.
He told Express.co.uk: “The biggest concern is perhaps the use or direct threat of use of a tactical/battlefield nuclear weapon.
“If things are still going so badly on May 9, which is likely, Putin could decide that a nuke is the only way to change the shape of the war.
“Western leaders have been slightly ambiguous about what would happen if Putin used a tactical nuke.”
A tactical nuclear weapon differs from “strategic” nuclear weapons in that they can be used over relatively short distances.
“Tactical” refers to a wide range of weaponry, including smaller bombs and missiles that are considered “battlefield” weapons.
Putin could drop a nuke on Ukraine “tomorrow” (Image: Getty )
Victory day is a military celebration on May 9 commemorating Russia’s defeat of the Nazis (Image: Getty )
Strategic nukes on the other hand refer to the bombs that the US and the USSR threatened to use during the Cold War.
Mr de Bretton-Gordon urged the West to stand up to Russia to stop it from deploying any nuclear weapons.
He told Express.co.uk: “I think we need them to state very clearly that even a small nuclear weapon would lead to NATO directly targeting strategic Russian targets with sophisticated conventional weapons.
“These targets would be any nuclear launchers in or around Ukraine, command and control sites, basically making further Russian advances in Ukraine untenable.”