Putin 'puts nuke forces on highest alert level & activates chilling Monolith combat system' as Biden visits Kyiv | The Sun

VLADIMIR Putin has put his nuclear forces on high alert in bid to " blackmail" the West, Ukraine has warned.

Russia is alleged to have begun "large-scale" nuke exercises including activating its central command system dubbed "Monolith".

Ukrainian intelligence issued the warning just hours before US President Joe Biden arrived for a surprise visit to Kyiv.

Biden doubled down on his support as he met with Volodymyr Zelensky and offered a new $500million military package.

Putin will have been fuming over the visit – which is one of the strongest shows of support for Ukraine yet by the US.

And it comes as the world is counting down to the anniversary of the war on February 24.


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Ukrainian spies reported that Russia has begun exercises of its nukes – including all elements of the nuclear triad, submarines, missiles and warplanes.

The nuclear forces are reportedly on the "highest levels of combat readiness".

They claimed Putin is trying use "nuclear blackmail" in a bid to force the West to back down from supporting Ukraine.

And the exercises were reportedly carefully planned to coincide with Biden's trip to Europe.

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Kyiv also added that Russia's central command system "Monolith" – which liaises between the top generals and missile forces – conducted a readiness check.

"Monolith" was a code word used by the Soviet military to denote highest priority messages.

And it also claimed a nuclear missile submarine was given a mock combat order to fire.

Strategic bombers and top commanders have also reportedly been moved to Tambov air base – which is around 300 miles south of Moscow and 300 miles northeast of Ukraine.

"Russia may increase nuclear blackmail in order to disrupt the visit of the US president to Europe," warned the Ukrainian intelligence directorate in a public post on Telegram.

It comes as:

  • Joe Biden made a surprise vist to Kyiv to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky
  • Russia is feared to be massing 500,000 troops for a new assault on Ukraine
  • The world is counting down to the anniversary of the war on February 24
  • Bloody trench combat is raging across the eastern front – with fierce fighting in Bakhmut and Vuhledar
  • It is estimated more than 143,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine
  • Zelensky warned an alliance of Russia and China could spark World War 3
  • Ukrainian defense chief Oleksiy Danilov vowed the war would end with tanks on Red Square
  • Leaked documents reveal Putin's own spies believe he is a 'bullying narcissistic liar'
  • The Sun Online visited Europe's border with Russia – a place where spies are everywhere

"Russia is starting large-scale exercises of strategic nuclear forces on the eve of US President Joe Biden's visit to Europe."

The spectre of nuclear escalation has hung over the war in Ukraine – with Russia often swinging its nuclear sabre.

But as the conflict stalled and devolved in bloody trench warfare over the winter, there has been less discussion of nukes.

However, last week it was reported Vlad has nuclear armed warships into the Arctic for the first time in 30 years.

Putin has at his fingertips one of the largest nuclear arsenals in world – with a stockpile of around 6,000 warheads, including 1,600 ready for action.

And it's long been suggested Vlad could use the threat of nukes to force capitulation from Ukraine – or actually detonate one of the weapons to break the deadlock.

Vlad using a nuke during the war would be the first time such a weapon has been used in combat since the US dropped two bombs on Japan in 1945.

Moscow's war doctrine is believed to be open to using nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict as an intimidation tactic – and use of such a weapon must be signed off personally by Putin.

The tactic became known as "escalate to de-escalate".

Moscow has previously practiced such strategies in the field – such as simulating a Nato attack on the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

The scenario saw the Russian forces strike back at the invading West by firing nuclear arms at Poland and the US.

And these drills are believed to have taken place in the nineties and noughties, with tactical nukes used for both offense and defense.

Air raid sirens could be heard ringing around Kyiv as Biden arrived in the Ukrainian capital to meet Zelensky.

The two embraced near a memorial dedicated to Ukrainian servicemen.

The US President vowed Washington will stand with Kyiv for "as long as it takes."

And the Ukrainian leader hailed Biden's visit, saying it shows Russia has "no chance" to win.

"This is an unequivocal signal that Russian attempts to win will have no chance," said Zelensky.

"Together we will protect our cities, our people from the terror of Russia."

Biden pledged another $500million (£400million) to support Ukraine, and Zelensky said they discussed long-range weapons.

The latest aid package is expected to include more HIMARS missiles, more artillery shells, and radars.

The White House is also expected to announce a new raft of sanctions against Russian elites and companies.

Biden last visited Ukraine in 2017 on his final foreign trip while serving as vice president for Barack Obama.

His visit came just days before the first anniversary of Russia's invasion on February 24.

And it occurred as the shadow of a huge new bloody onslaught looms over the war-torn nation.

Putin is believed to be preparing for a massive new offensive in the coming weeks to coincide with the war's first anniversary on February 24.

It has been believed up to 500,000 troops are massing for the attack – with bloody fighting still raging in the East.

Vuhledar and Bakhmut have devolved into the bloodiest battles of the conflict with grinding trench warfare.

Vlad's future is now believed to be tied to his success or failure in Ukraine.

Russia expected to be welcomed as conquering liberators when they staged their invasion nearly one year ago.

But instead of flags and cheering crowns, they were met with gunfire and brave resistance.

Vlad is believed to be desperate to try and achieve something in Ukraine.

He is facing internal political pressure with the anniversary just days away – with Russia having little military success during the campaign despite massive losses.

It is believed that if Putin continues to fail in the war, his regime could collapse – and it could have dire consequences for Russia.

Kyiv intelligence has confirmed they expect a massive new attack sometime in the next week.

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