VLADIMIR Putin came close to declaring all-out war on Ukraine last night as he prepares to mobilize more forces to bolster his relentless onslaught.
The Russian president has previously described the invasion only as a “special military operation”.
But now he’s expected to openly use the word “war” and unleash a new hell on civilians already hit by indiscriminate bombing.
Military sources said he planned to use his country’s May 9 victory parade in Red Square to announce a mass mobilization that would allow him to call more men to fight.
The tyrant’s hopes of proclaiming victory to the cheering crowds as they marched by were dashed by Ukrainian resistance.
His second wave of attacks on Donbass kill scores of soldiers in artillery duels, but makes little progress.
As a result, Putin is under mounting pressure from generals to unleash an all-out war, and fears are mounting that he will respond with renewed brutality.
Russian leaders are furious at their humiliating defeat at Kyiv and blame bloated-faced Putin – who is said to be ill – for curtailing operations.
They want permission to bomb more targets in Ukraine, including high-profile government buildings.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said he expected Putin to use his May 9 speech to “declare war on the Nazis of the world.”
Mr Wallace told LBC: “He will probably declare on May 1st: ‘We are now at war with the Nazis of the world and we need to mobilize the Russian people en masse.’
“Putin, who has failed on almost every goal, could be trying to consolidate what he has and just be a kind of cancer in the country. We need to help the Ukrainians and keep the momentum pushing them back.”
A declaration of war would allow Moscow to mobilize men of military age to make up for their devastating losses on the battlefield.
Ukraine claims to have killed more than 23,000 Russian soldiers and destroyed more than 1,000 tanks, 2,400 armored vehicles and 345 aircraft.
Western officials have claimed that one in four Russian units is no longer “combat effective” due to their devastating losses.
The Defense Ministry said Russia was “forced to pool and redeploy exhausted and disparate units from the failed pushes in northeastern Ukraine.”
It added; “Many of these units are probably suffering from low morale.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops would turn the Donbass region “into ruins”.
He said: “In the Donbas, the occupiers are doing everything to destroy all life in this area.
“Constant brutal bombing, constant Russian attacks on infrastructure and residential areas show that Russia wants to make this area uninhabited.
“Absolutely everything will be decided in this war.”
He warned that if Russia succeeded in Donbass, it would become like Mariupol, which he called a “concentration camp amidst ruins.”
Mr Zelensky said the Russians were worse than the Nazis who occupied Eastern Europe 80 years ago for lying about their atrocities.
Hopes of finding a way to evacuate civilians have been dashed day by day as Russia insists that the only way to go is through Russian territory.
Putin’s troops have also set up so-called filtration camps, where fleeing civilians are checked, whether they have served in the government, the police, or the military.
Elsewhere, the bodies of three other men were discovered in a pit in liberated Bucha, near Kyiv.
Officials said her hands and feet were tied and there was evidence of torture.
A residential area lay in smoking ruins yesterday after the Russian bombing raid.
Aerial photos show destroyed apartment blocks and houses, some still smoldering and blackened by the fire, in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Meanwhile, a Russian missile hit the airport in Odessa, while Moscow said its forces hit 17 Ukrainian military installations yesterday.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5238576/vladimir-putin-declaring-war-ukraine/ Vladimir Putin is on the verge of declaring all-out war on Ukraine as he mobilizes more forces to ramp up the relentless onslaught