Published On: Sun, Mar 17th, 2024

Putin ‘could invade these two European countries next and it will mean WW3’ | World | News

If Vladimir Putin wins in Ukraine, then Russia will wage war on the West starting with two Baltic states, a security expert has warned.

Ex-army commander Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon has said Putin will throw everything into the “Ukraine meat grinder” in a desperate bid to to seize ground in Ukraine after two years of war.

Should Putin see success in Ukraine, the Russian dictator will turn on Western countries, starting with the Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania.

Mr de Bretton-Gordon told The Sun: “I think he is doing all he can at the moment [in Ukraine]. He is throwing everything into the ‘meat grinder’, hoping to outlast Western support, which is likely to wain at the end of this year.

“If Putin succeeds in Ukraine he will go to war with the West. He will attack Latvia and Lithuania first – and they are both NATO.”

According to its treaty, an attack on a NATO member would trigger Article 5, meaning every other member of the military alliance would consider such an act of violence as an armed attack against all members. This would see NATO allies then take the actions deemed necessary to help their ally.

The result of this year’s US presidential election will also be a factor in Putin’s calculation as to whether or not to launch an attack on a NATO member.

Former US General Ben Hodges warned a return to the White House by Donald Trump could worsen the situation as Putin’s plans are to destroy Ukraine and break NATO by testing whether the US and other members of the alliance will actually respond to a limited attack on a NATO country.

He told The Sun if Putin sees the West is unwilling or unable to help Ukraine win, then he’ll be emboldened and if Trump does what he’s threatened to do for years and turn his back on NATO then the Russian president will see an opportunity to attack the alliance.

Meanwhile, Putin is poised to extend his near 25 years of rule for six more years after a relentless crackdown on dissent.

Russia‘s presidential election has been taking place amid attacks within Russia by Ukrainian missiles and drones which have killed several people.

Polls opened for three days on Friday in a tightly controlled environment where there are no real alternatives to Putin. The result is expected either on Sunday (March 17) or overnight.

Putin warned the West on Wednesday (March 13) Russia is technically ready for nuclear war and if the US was to send troops to Ukraine it would be considered a significant escalation of the conflict.

He added the nuclear war scenario was not “rushing” up and he coould see no need for the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Mr de Bretton-Gordon said while Putin could unleash attacks on the West, he is unlikely to use nuclear force.

He said Putin knows it “puts the wind up” Western leaders when he talks about nuclear war, but “it is a bluff”.

The expert said even if Russia‘s tactical nuclear weapons work Putin knows the US and UK would destroy them with conventional means before he could even fire them.

He added that such use by Russia would give the West a reason to use conventional means to destroy Russia‘s fighting machine in Ukraine.

Mr de Bretton-Gordon told The Sun Putin’s obsession with his legacy also meant he would not want to destroy the world through a nuclear Armageddon.   

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