Russia-Ukraine latest: Nuclear war ‘could only be a few steps away’, warns ex-RAF chief

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Nuclear war is “no longer unthinkable” and nuclear weapons “could” be used as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, a former army chief warned today.

Air Marshal Edward Stringer said Vladimir Putin’s endorsement of the deployment of nuclear weapons was “within the limits of possibility” and “just a few steps away.”

He added that this was a “pretty terrifying prospect” and that it would “clearly weigh on the minds of those making all the political calculations.”

The former Director General of Joint Force Development at Strategic Command and RAF Assistant Chief of Air Staff was asked today about the possibility of nuclear war.

And he told LBC: ‘It is no longer unthinkable and it will clearly weigh on the minds of those who are doing all the political calculations at the moment.

This image from the press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense on Feb. 19 shows a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile being launched from an airfield during military exercises

This image from the press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense on Feb. 19 shows a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile being launched from an airfield during military exercises

Soldiers deployed by Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems of the 54th Guards Rocket Division of the 27th Guards Missile Army of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces based in Teikov

Soldiers deployed by Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems of the 54th Guards Rocket Division of the 27th Guards Missile Army of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces based in Teikov

Soldiers up by Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems of the 54th Guards Rocket Division of the 27th Guards Missile Army of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces in Teikovo

“Hence the very straight and consistent line of (US President Joe) Biden and all the other senior heads of state lately.”

LBC presenter Nick Ferrari also asked Air Marshal Stringer if it was possible that the Russian president would deploy nuclear weapons if the war continues.

How many nuclear weapons does Russia have – and what about Britain and the US?

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which has published a report on the world’s nuclear arsenals since 1987, compiled by leading experts from the Federation of American Scientists, last month updated its data on Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

It said the stockpile is about 4,477 warheads, of which about 1,588 are strategic warheads that can be used on ballistic missiles and heavy bomber bases.

The Bulletin also said that about 977 strategic warheads, along with 1,912 non-strategic warheads, are being held in reserve.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, the latest figures show that the UK has a stockpile of about 225 nuclear warheads.

It also says that the US has 5,428, France 290, Pakistan 165, China 350, India 160, Israel 90, and North Korea 20.

He replied, “It’s in the realm of possibility, and that’s what people have to worry about. In other words, can he outline a plausible sequence of events? And you can.

And that is why, when calling for no-fly zones, the political leadership was quick to point out that NATO is a defensive alliance, NATO is not attacked, NATO is not built to go on the offensive. , if she did. would take over another nuclear power – Russia.

“Russian nuclear doctrine includes the use of nuclear weapons. Those are just a few steps from where we are now to a confrontation that could see the use of nuclear weapons, which I think is a pretty terrifying prospect for a sane person.”

Putin put Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons forces on high alert on February 27, raising concerns about what could happen in the conflict in Ukraine.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has tried to pour cold water on fears of nuclear war, stating last month that while he understood the concerns, the wording is a “fight of rhetoric.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat has said Russia simply sees nuclear weapons on the battlefield as “a bigger bang” and could issue a military order to use them.

If Russia launched an attack on a NATO country, experts have said there could be retaliatory attacks from other NATO countries.

Nuclear weapons can kill hundreds of thousands of people, depending on how populated a target area is. Others may be injured from radiation poisoning if a specific facility is targeted.

It comes as the Russian bombing of Ukraine moved closer to the center of Kiev, with a series of strikes hitting a residential area as leaders of three European Union countries planned to visit the embattled capital as a show of support.

Air Marshal Edward Stringer is the former Director General of Joint Force Development at Strategic Command and RAF Assistant Chief of the Air Staff

Air Marshal Edward Stringer is the former Director General of Joint Force Development at Strategic Command and RAF Assistant Chief of the Air Staff

Air Marshal Edward Stringer is the former Director General of Joint Force Development at Strategic Command and RAF Assistant Chief of the Air Staff

Large explosions thundered over Kiev today from what Ukrainian authorities believe were artillery attacks. The shelling caused a massive fire and a frantic rescue attempt at a 15-story apartment building in a western neighborhood. At least one person was killed.

Ukraine crisis means ‘big new bets’ on nuclear power, PM says

The prime minister has said there must be a “big new bet” on nuclear energy to ensure Britain’s energy supply is “no longer at the mercy of bullies like Putin”.

Boris Johnson urged the West to end its “addiction” to Russian energy, saying of President Vladimir Putin: “If the world can end its dependence on Russian oil and gas, we can starve him of money, destroy his strategy and size him up.’

Writing in the Daily Telegram ahead of the release of his British Energy Security Strategy this month, Johnson pushed for nuclear power expansion.

“So now is the time to make a series of big new bets on nuclear power,” he said. The 1997 Labor Manifesto stated that there were ‘no economic arguments’ for more nuclear power – even though nuclear power is in fact safe, clean and reliable.

“It’s time to reverse that historic mistake, with a strategy that includes both small modular reactors and the larger power plants.

“It was the UK that split the atom for the first time. It was the UK that had the world’s first civilian nuclear power plant. It’s time we regain our lead.’

Shockwaves from an explosion also damaged the entrance to a metro station in the city center that was being used as a bomb shelter.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration has reported that the number of people who have fled Ukraine since Russia has surpassed three million on Feb. 24.

And as Russia stepped up its attack on Kiev, the leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia announced they would travel to Ukraine’s capital today for an EU mission to show support for the country.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will be joined by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and the leader of the conservative ruling party.

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators also planned to hold a second day of talks as the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its twentieth day.

The Red Cross and the United Nations Refugee Agency say millions of people are facing food and medicine shortages, along with the threat of shelling and airstrikes.

Millions more have fled their homes, with three million reportedly entering Poland and other neighboring countries in what the UN calls Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

When Russia launched the war nearly three weeks ago, fears of an imminent invasion gripped the Ukrainian capital, with residents sleeping in metro stations or cramming on trains to flee. But when the Russian offensive stalled, Kiev saw a relative calm.

In recent days, fighting has intensified on the outskirts of the city and sporadic sirens of air strikes have blared around the capital.

This early morning artillery strikes hit the Svyatoshynskyi district in western Kiev, adjacent to the suburb of Irpin, where some of the worst battles of the war took place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured in the Moscow Kremlin on March 1 this year

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured in the Moscow Kremlin on March 1 this year

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured in the Moscow Kremlin on March 1 this year

Flames shot from the 15-story apartment building and smoke choked the air as firefighters climbed ladders to rescue people.

The attack blackened several floors of the building, tore a hole in the ground outside and blew out windows in adjacent apartment buildings.

A firefighter at the scene confirmed that one person had died and several had been rescued, but others stayed inside as rescuers tried to reach them.

A 10-storey apartment building in Kiev’s Podilsky district, north of the government district, was also damaged by unspecified munitions.

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