Vladimir Putin could possibly have no choice but to “opt for nuclear option” when Ukraine makes gains to re-take Crimea.
The i Paper’s Chief Political Commentator Paul Waugh has warned Putin could end up using nuclear weapons as it is looking highly likely that Ukrainian forces will now go for Crimea after the Kherson withdrawal.
With Ukrainian forces now taking back control of Kherson Crimea is next door and this could corner Putin.
Speaking to Times Radio, Waugh said, “If you get anywhere near Crimea and anywhere near that Black Sea fleet port, then it gets very difficult [for Putin].
“He may well then opt for the tactical nuclear option that everyone’s worried about.
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“There’s going to have a real negotiation whatever happens.
“In the best case scenario for Ukraine, they take most of Crimea. They would still probably have to keep that Black Sea fleet port there.”
Spokesperson Vladyslav Nazarov confirmed the Ukrainian advances, saying that “over the past day, our troops at the junction of Kherson and Mykolaiv regions moved the front line by 7 kilometres [about 4 miles].
“They liberated almost 260 square kilometres [about 100 square miles] of territory and 12 settlements.”
Lucy Fisher, chief political commentator at The Times believes that Russia’s retreat from the strategic port town of Kherson “could be an ambush” before Putin tries “to bomb them with low-yield tactical nuclear weapons.”
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and his top commanders have expressed publicly their scepticism as Putin officially declared Kherson will be Russian “forever.”
Fisher warned that something has “clearly gone wrong for Russia” to have made the withdrawal announcement so public, and just last week Putin ordered the mass evacuation of all civilians and pulled out all critical infrastructure from hospitals and government buildings.
The Times chief political commentator warned that Putin could be attempting to offer a false sense of security to lure hundreds if not thousands of Ukrainian forces in to Kherson to then possibly try “to bomb them with low-yield tactical nuclear weapons.”
Fisher said, “Kherson is very important strategically.
“It is a port city and it is symbolically so important to Russia because it is the only major regional hub that they have managed to take in Ukraine that it did not have before.
“That is the main gain, so to give it up is a really important turning point in the war but I am nervous to say that this is what it seems on the face of it.”