RUSSIA may be forced to use nuclear weapons after its conventional forces have been crushed in Ukraine, America’s top spy has warned.
Vladimir Putin’s invasion has led to the loss of over 155,000 troops as well as huge quantities of arms, according to figures released by Ukraine’s military.
Deluded Putin thought he could defeat Ukraine in three days and that thousands would rise up to overthrown Volodymyr Zelensky, his own spies have revealed.
But the Russian tyrant’s invasion has turned into a military failure of incredible scale, with poorly trained and equipped soldiers being sent to their deaths by incompetent leaders.
US intelligence agencies have released their annual report on threats to America, as their leaders appeared at the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said she doesn’t foresee Vladimir Putin’s forces securing any more ground in the second year of the Ukraine war.
Speaking at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Haines said Russia “has suffered losses that will require years of rebuilding and leave it less capable of posing a conventional military threat.”
As a result, Haines said “Russia will become even more reliant on asymmetric options such as nuclear, cyber, space capabilities, and on China”.
She told the committee Russia will have trouble operating in both in Eurasia and “on the global stage” because of both its weakened status as a military power and the backlash to Putin’s invasion.
As Russia continues to face disastrous defeats across the frontline in Ukraine, it has been wildly swinging its nuclear sabre.
Putin has repeatedly raised the spectre of using the weapons – and at one point it was feared he could potentially be lining up a test in the Black Sea.
Russia recently reportedly tested his hypersonic Satan-2 nuclear-capable missile while Joe Biden was visiting Ukraine.
The “superweapon” has the potential to obliterate the United Kingdom 1,600 miles away in just six minutes.
Russia previously boasted that the beast can carry 15 warheads and drop multiple nukes in a single terrifying strike.
Speaking at the end of last year Haines said Putin would use a nuclear weapon if he saw an existential threat to Russia or his regime stemming from the war in Ukraine.
“We do think that could be the case in the event that he perceives that he is losing the war in Ukraine,” she said.
“And that NATO in effect is either intervening or about to intervene in that context, which would obviously contribute to a perception that he is about to lose the war in Ukraine.”
It comes as intense fighting is raging around the town of Bakhmut.
Ukraine estimates some 30,000 Russians have died in the “meat grinder” – with battle raging for the past nine months.
Its military is now hanging on to positions and inflicting as many casualties as possible on enemy forces in a desperate attempt to grind down their fighting capability.
Russia recently suffered one of its worst defeats since the start of the war in Ukraine losing up to 300 soldiers a day and leaving more than 100 military vehicles destroyed.
The failure of Putin’s forces to take Vuhledar, a small town in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, is seen as a major humiliation for the Russian army.