Five chilling signs that would show Putin is preparing nuke strike on Ukraine as UK spies infiltrate Kremlin war machine

AN APOCALYPTIC Russian nuclear strike on Ukraine will be the final step on a devastating “ladder of escalation”, an expert has warned.

Paul Ingram from the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge laid out the steps that we may see in the run-up to a hypothetical deadly nuke launch.

PAThe risk of Russian cyberattacks on UK infrastructure is very real, an expert has warned[/caption]

ReutersPutin has stepped up the rhetoric warning of nuclear strikes[/caption]

He added that while a nuclear strike is still a number of steps away, once we go down that route, it becomes increasingly hard to turn back.

Ingram, who serves as Academic Programme Manager and Senior Research Associate at the Centre, set out the five chilling signs we may see on the road to possible nuclear armageddon.

He was speaking after the head of GCHQ Sir Jeremy Fleming claimed that UK spies were keeping careful tabs on any possible Russian nuclear movements.

Ingram told The Sun Online: “A bolt-from-the-blue nuclear strike without any warning isn’t a credible outcome. We would have warnings.



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“Nuclear missiles are there first and foremost as a deterrent. Using them is incredibly dangerous, and not just for the obvious reasons.

“They may not work very well. They are very destructive, but they may not have the desired military or political impact.

“In military terms, it is like leaping off a cliff.”

But in the run-up to such a strike, Ingram claimed, “Putin will want to take many steps on the escalation ladder. He will want to send signals beforehand. As steps are taken, it gets harder to control the process.”

These are the five chilling signs we may see if mad Vlad is preparing for a deadly nuclear strike.


In recent weeks, Putin has looked to ramp up the threats and language surrounding his nuclear arsenal.

Just this week, a bombshell report claimed Putin warned billionaire Elon Musk he would use nukes if Ukraine tried to retake Crimea.

And earlier this month, Vlad promoted violent warlord Ramzan Kadyrov – who demanded Russia nuke Ukraine – to the position of general.

He has also positioned his ruthless “General Armageddon“, Sergey Surovkin, as head of the armed forces.

The general, infamous for his merciless carpet-bombing of Syria, is believed to be responsible for this week’s indiscriminate shelling of civilian targets in Ukraine.

Should Russia deploy its nukes, the West’s vengeance will be swift and terrible

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart CrawfordBritish Armed Forces Veteran

But Ingram explained that in the run-up to war, we may see more “direct” warnings of nuclear strikes, rather than hinted threats.

The threats would also be part of a more “consistent” message across the Russian leadership, he added.

“At the moment we have mixed messaging,” he said. “We are getting veiled threats from some, denial from others.

“In the case of a move towards a nuclear strike, you would see less ambiguous messaging.”


Any nuclear strike on Ukraine – as unlikely as it is – would be preceded by an upsurge in cyberattacks on the UK, a further expert has warned.

Defence expert Edward Lucas told The Sun Online that a major cyberattack “could bring down the National Grid,” which would bring “riots within days”.

He warned that other cyberattacks could target mobile networks, contactless payment methods, and transport links.

While Ingram added that we should expect such cyberattacks as part of an escalation in hostilities between Moscow and London.

“Cyberattacks are much less risky than nuclear missiles,” he explained.

Britain could even launch its own pre-emptive cyberattacks on Russian defence systems.


Russia’s arsenal of tactical nukes are kept in a number of storage sites across Russia, Ingram explained.

Once they are taken out of central storage, satellites tracking Russian troop movements will pick up the transportation of the deadly warheads, either to airfields or launch sites, before they are loaded into aircraft or missiles.

British Armed Forces veteran Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford added that the Russians will not be able to move their nukes undetected.

“The warheads have to be moved to missiles or into artillery ammunition supplies,” he told The Sun Online. “They have to be loaded out from bunkers. The Americans will see that as soon as it happens.

“Should Russia deploy its nukes, the West’s vengeance will be swift and terrible. Russia would likely cease to exist as a country in its current state.”

GettyIn the run-up to such a strike, we would see ‘movement at Russia’s nuclear missile sites’[/caption]

AFPWe would also see the ‘deployment of Putin’s special troops’[/caption]

Putin’s Black Sea Fleet would be dispersed for protection


Ingram said that in the event of a nuclear buildup, the key sign to look for would be the “movement of strategic forces”.

The deployment of the relevant Russian military forces who have control over nukes is a key element that spies are looking out for.

“We haven’t seen these forces deployed yet,” he said. “Western military intelligence is tracking them, we will know if they have moved.”


The final stage on Ingram’s “Ladder of Escalation”, before a nuclear strike, is the dispersal of key Russian military warships and aircraft.

These include the Black Sea Fleet, currently stationed in Sevastopol, in disputed Crimea, southern Ukraine.

Just before a strike, he explained, “the Black Sea Fleet would leave Sevastopol, and its aircraft carriers would disperse, so they are less vulnerable”.

He went on: “We would see a number of Russian nuclear subs launching from port, and increased readiness of Russian bombers.

“Much of Russia’s land-based strategic forces are mobile, so satellites would show them on the move as well.

“We would see them dispersing from their bases and taking positions in the Russian countryside, similar to when nuclear weapons were stored at Greenham Common.”

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It comes as former NATO chief Richard Shirreff warned the world must be ready for nuclear war with Russia, in the event of Putin’s army collapsing.

Speaking to The Sun Online, he urged the West to keep up the pressure on Vlad the tyrant as his invasion of Ukraine continues to lose momentum.

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