FEARS are growing that Vladimir Putin will launch a nuclear show of force by detonating a deadly warhead over the Black Sea.
A security source told The Sun: “The threat has increased recently.”
And British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey admitted yesterday “we are at a time when these sorts of conversations are necessary”.
Western officials warn Putin and his generals are growing increasingly desperate amid seismic battlefield losses in Ukraine and “significant failures of military leadership”.
In a fresh bout of sabre-rattling yesterday, Putin’s spokesman warned that newly annexed parts of Ukraine could be defended by nuclear weapons.
Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “All these territories are inalienable parts of the Russian Federation and they are all protected. Their security is provided for at the same level as the rest of Russia’s territory.”
One source said Putin was running low on “high-precision, long-range, significantly sized warheads” like the S-300 missile.
A Western official added: “Although Russian stocks are large they are by no means infinite.
“When you look at the number of missiles fired over the last few months, we are thinking here that this is an issue.