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Russian President Vladimir Putin could declare World War 3 in just two days' time, according to the UK defence secretary.
Ben Wallace said that the despot will "probably" attempt to "mobilise the Russian people" amid his failing "special military operation".
Russian troops first crossed the border into Ukraine on February 24, claiming they wanted to "denazify" the country.
Putin has also threatened to use nuclear weapons against western powers if they get in his way, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying the threat of nuclear war "is serious".
Now, speaking to LBC, Wallace warns that Putin may ramp up his rhetoric in the coming days.
He said: "I would not be surprised . . . that he is probably going to declare on May Day that, 'We are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilise the Russian people'."
"Putin, having failed in nearly all objectives, may seek to consolidate what he's got . . . and just be a sort of cancerous growth within the country.
"We have to help Ukrainians effectively get the limpet off the rock and keep the momentum pushing them back."
This comes while 8,000 British Army troops are set to take part in military exercises in eastern Europe to combat Russian aggression.
In one of the largest deployments since the Cold War, dozens of tanks will be sent to countries ranging from Finland to North Macedonia this summer under plans that have been enhanced since the invasion of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said this has been planned for a while, but that the plans were enhanced after Russia invaded its neighbour.
The deployment is expected to build to a peak of around 8,000 personnel operating between April and June.
Commander Field Army Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse said: "The UK makes a significant contribution to the defence of Europe and the deterrence of Russian aggression. The British Army's series of exercises is fundamental to both.
"The scale of the deployment, coupled with the professionalism, training and agility of the British Army, will deter aggression at a scale not seen in Europe this century."
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- Vladimir Putin
- Russia Ukraine war
- World War 3
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