VLADIMIR Putin could go nuclear by launching a low-yield device in Ukraine, dropping a bomb over the Black Sea or test firing a Poseidon drone off the US coast, experts warn.
The tyrant – who turns 70 on Friday – is “preparing to make key decisions from a bunker” after warning his closest family to be ready to evacuate Moscow in a hurry, reports claim.
Putin’s gymnast mistress Alina Kabaeva, 40, and their children are on standby to be whisked to the remote bunker along with top government officials, it is alleged.
His two grown-up daughters and their families have also reportedly been warned they might be evacuated, according to the anti-Kremlin General SVR Telegram channel.
It claims ailing Putin – whose illness is said to be forcing ever more rash decisions – has been holed up underground in Siberia since illegally annexing four regions of Ukraine on Friday.
Mad Vlad warned at the ceremony he will use “any means” to defend them – seen as a threat to start a nuclear world war.
General SVR claimed all his appearances since then were pre-recorded and he is actually in his bunker consulting witch doctors while mulling a nuclear strike.
Shamans performed a “burning bird” ritual for Putin which could signify “victory and death,” leaving the interpretation “to the president’s painful fantasy”, it claimed.
Fears of an imminent nuke test on the Ukraine border were raised today after a train was seen carrying supplies.
Meanwhile Nato warned Russia has deployed its giant new Belgorod submarine which can be armed with terrifying nuclear “doomsday drones”.
The Poseidon torpedoes reportedly carry a two-megaton warhead designed to devastate coastal cities with a 300ft radioactive tsunami.
Experts have previously warned Putin is with “more probable” to launch a nuke than accept defeat in Ukraine.
And Joseph Cirincione, a distinguished fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in Washington DC, has revealed five chilling ways Putin could unleash nuclear weapons on the world.
Speaking on Bill Press Pods, he warned the Russian dictator could initially fire nukes into the Black Sea as a “demonstration shot” before using nuclear weapons on targets in Ukraine.
And in a worrying worst case scenario, Mr Cirincione said Putin could fire at Nato targets or even the United States.
Mr Cirincione said: “The first possibility is you would use a nuclear weapon in a demonstration shot, so you would fire something into the Black Sea, for example.
“The purpose of this is to ‘escalate to de-escalate’ if the war is going badly.
“If the Russians felt they were on the verge of defeat, they would fire off a nuclear shot to indicate the seriousness of the situation, and to cause the West to back off.
“If that were to happen, I would say the reaction would be shock and horror – but it would not require a military response.
“You don’t have to do anything there. I would say the US response would be more diplomatic.”
In a second scenario, Mr Cirincione said Putin could unleash a “very low yield weapon” on a military target in Ukraine.
Russia is known to have so-called tactical nukes, which can be launched onto the battlefield by Iskander missiles.
They would kill thousands and cause major damage.
But Mr Cirincione said: “Again, the US would not necessarily require a military solution.”
The expert went on: “The third possibility is that they use a serious nuclear weapon – Hiroshima sized or more – and it strikes and it destroys a city in Ukraine.
“At that point, that’s where things get quite serious.
“I would immediately expect to see long-range military response from Nato.
“Not Nato forces on the ground, but long-range strikes, which we are perfectly capable of doing.
“We could strike the launch site, for example, and definitely send a message saying ‘do not do this again’.
“That’s what you’re trying to do, trying to control the escalation.”
But he insisted Nato would not fire a retaliatory nuclear weapon on Russia under this scenario.
Nato under attack
“This is where we go to the fourth scenario… targeting a Nato base,” he said.
“If you saw a low-yield weapon used on a Nato target, then you would get a Nato air and ground assault, that would just wipe off the Russian military in Ukraine.
“We could do that, it would take a couple of weeks, but we could end the war if we wanted to.
“What you’re trying to avoid is Russia firing again – another nuclear weapon.
“That’s where it gets extremely risky. Putin may feel he has no option but to launch.”
He added: “This is why the fifth and final stage – if Putin would use a nuclear weapon on a US target and used a long-range missile to fire at the US – then all bets are off.
“There’s no question the US military command would be nearly universal in demanding we respond with a nuclear strike.
“It would probably be multiple strikes to knock out the command structure and some of their capabilities before they could respond – including knocking out Putin himself.”
Mr Cirincione said top US government officials would be working through the scenarios and preparing possible responses if Putin’s war escalates.
He added: “I just gave you five, but I bet they have a list of 25 that go into more fine-tuning on what you would do and how you would do it.
“But I believe for many of these scenarios, you have to go quite a way up before you get to the US nuclear response.”
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