Russia fears that Vladimir Putin may declare an all-out war against Ukraine. This is amid speculations the desperate despot could use nuclear force over the Black Sea if his invasion fails. 

Putin will today hold an emergency national security meeting, with the Russian senate ordered to sit late so they can rubber-stamp any directives. 

Sergei Surovikin – his commander in Ukraine, also known as ‘General Armageddon’, appears to be making preparations for a retreat out of Kherson.

General Surovikin, speaking on Tuesday, said the situation in the southern Ukrainian city is ‘tense’ and that people living there will be ‘resettled’ in order ‘to protect the lives of civilians and our service members’. He said, “We don’t exclude the most difficult decisions,”

Today’s evacuations began as Vladimir Saldo (Russian official in charge of Kherson occupied) stated that up to 60.000 people would be relocated over the next six-day period. This suggests the city may fall within one week. The administration is also moving, Saldo added, while vowing Russia would ‘fight to the death’ to regain full control.

Putin’s defeat in the election would be his most embarrassing to date, raising concerns about how he will respond.

The Russian leaders would have the power to declare martial law and close down the borders of the country, as well as the ability to force more people into the armed forces by escalating the “special military operation” into an all out war. 

The news that Ben Wallace, the UK Defense Secretary, was summoned to an emergency meeting at Pentagon yesterday has prompted more concerns that Putin might be planning a nuclear force show. This could include the first open air detonation atomic weapons since the 1960s.

James Heappey the Armed Forced Minister did nothing to ease those fears, when he stated that Mr Wallace’s discussions are beyond belief. 

Some experts speculate that Putin might detonate nuclear weapons at distant testing sites or over the Black Sea in an attempt to demonstrate that Russia has a large but still functional stockpile. 

Fears are growing that Putin could escalate in Ukraine - potentially by declaring all-out war or by ordering a nuclear show of force - as his top commander lays the groundwork for retreat in Kherson (file image, destruction in Mariupol)

As Putin’s top command prepares to retreat from Kherson, fears are rising that he could make an even more aggressive move in Ukraine. 

Experts have specualted that Putin could carry out the first open-air test of a nuclear weapon since the 1960s - either in a remote region of Russia or over the Black Sea - in an attempt to terrify Ukraine and its Western backers

 Experts have specualted that Putin could carry out the first open-air test of a nuclear weapon since the 1960s – either in a remote region of Russia or over the Black Sea – in an attempt to terrify Ukraine and its Western backers

Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned he is prepared to use nukes to defend Russia's 'territorial integrity'

Head of Russia's armed forces Sergei Surovikin, known as 'General Armageddon' has been increasing missile attacks on Ukraine's energy facilities

Vladimir Putin (left), who is holding an emergency council meeting as the top Ukrainian commander, General Surovikin(right), seems to be retreating from Kherson. Fears that Russia could escalate are heightened by this. 

Liz Truss has retreated from the defence cut debate yesterday, after high ranking ministers threatened to quit

Jason Groves is the Daily Mail’s Editor

Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor of England, had rejected the pledge of Prime Minister to increase defence spending by 3 percent of GDP before the end of this decade.

Mr Hunt said ‘everything’ was on the table as part of a brutal round of spending cuts to save £40billion by the end of the month. Yesterday, Downing Street accepted the warning from James Heappey, an armed forces minister and Ben Wallace as Defence Secretary that he would quit if this was not done.

The pledge, which experts say could cost £157billion, is now one of the few Government promises protected from the spending review. No 10 did not say whether Miss Truss would honor her commitment to increase pensions according to inflation.

Heappey claimed that the UK must increase its defence expenditures to counter the threats it faces.

The fact that Russia will be carrying out an annual nuclear weapon test within days of the exercise called ‘Grom’ only adds to the anxiety. Washington has yet not been notified when this test will occur.

Under treaties governing the use of nuclear weapons, Russia is supposed to inform the US before carrying out nuclear drills to avoid the risk that a test is mistaken for an actual launch – which could prompt a potentially-devastating response. The US must also notify Moscow.

A US military official stated Monday that they had not been notified of any official notifications.

NATO, which is currently based in Brussels, North Sea and UK, also has exercises taking place.

According to the alliance’s website, “The exercise runs from October 30-October and is not tied to any current global events.” 

Officially, Putin’s security meeting today is to discuss ‘neutralising threats to national security in the migration sphere’ but within Russia there is speculation that the main topic is likely to be the war in Ukraine.

The fact that this session will take place online is raising concerns. Putin might not be there and instead could be hiding in his nuclear bunker up the Ural Mountains.

James Cleverly (British foreign secretary) tried to ease fears on Wednesday, suggesting that Wallace was in Washington to discuss Russia’s new tactics in Ukraine. He suggested that Russia used suicide drones and missiles instead of nukes to destroy power stations.

Cleverly claimed that talks with Wallace were an ‘ordinary and regular’ part of “a bizarre and perverse” situation.

According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, “The Defence Secretary will be visiting Washington DC in order to address shared security concerns including Ukraine.” He is expected to visit his counterpart at Pentagon as well senior White House figures.

The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spokesmen said that they had discussed how to continue support Ukraine from our two countries, and the importance of regional security cooperation, in light Russian aggression.

The emergency talks with Mr Wallace were held before the delivery of NATO systems that will strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses against attacks from missiles and kamikaze drones. 

After several weeks of humiliating retreats from the battlefield, Russia is now firing more rockets and drones towards Ukraine.

Drones may have been used in Iran by a group believed to be Iranian. It could suggest that Iran’s stockpiles of “high-precision long-range warheads” are low.  

According to sources in Tehran, Iran plans to send additional drones and surface to-surface missiles (S2M) to Russia.

Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Russia, stated that Putin’s attack on power supplies was a crime according to the laws of Armed Conflict. He also said that hospitals were forced onto back-up generators because of this.

“No room left for negotiations against Putin’s regime,” Mr Zelensky stated.

“The terrorist states will not make any changes for themselves with these actions.

“It will confirm its murderous and destructive essence. It will be held accountable.”

Recent targets include the Zhytomyr city, west of Kyiv capital, where energy facilities were left without power and water, and the facilities in Kyiv as well as Dnipro. 

Russia has changed tactics in Ukraine over the last week, using missiles and drones to bomb power stations and water supplies in an apparent attempt to break the will of ordinary Ukrainians to continue the war

Russia’s tactics have changed in Ukraine during the week. They used drones and missiles to bombard power stations and water sources in an apparent effort to stop the ordinary Ukrainians continuing to wage war. 

Rescuers sort through the rubble of a residential building hit by Russian kamikaze drones as explosions rock Ukraine's capital during a drone attack in the early morning on October 17

After an attack by Russian drones, rescuers sorted through the debris of a residence in Kiev.

Iran has been supplying Russia with 'kamikaze drones' as their stocks on missiles are thought to be running low

Iran has been supplying Russia with ‘kamikaze drones’ as their stocks on missiles are thought to be running low

James Cleverly, Foreign Secretary said that Putin failed to seize Ukrainian cities and towns with tanks. Now he uses cowardly drone strikes.

“These are desperate actions of a man who has lost a battle on the field. We sent air defence missiles to counter this. He can’t destroy the Ukrainians nor our resolve to support them.

The advanced medium-range air-to-air missile rockets from the UK are able to knock cruise missiles and drones like Iran’s Shahed-136 straight out of the sky. 

To gather intelligence from the air, Ukraine will receive drones from NATO.

In its daily intelligence briefing, the UK Ministry of Defence stated that “a key goal of this strike campaign was to cause widespread damage Ukraine’s energy distribution system.”

“Russia has experienced battlefield setbacks from August and has likely increased its willingness to attack civilian infrastructure.” 

Vladimir Putin’s bombing plunges Ukraine in darkness. As war-torn nation is forced to face winter, missile attacks decimate one out of three power plants.

James Franey, Kyiv Daily Mail

Ukraine’s energy supplies are at critical lows after Russian strikes, Kyiv warned last night.

According to President Volodymyr Zelesky, a drone and missile blitz knocked out one-third of country’s electricity stations within eight days. This was as winter draws near.

Parts of the capital were also affected by drone strikes on electricity supplies, leaving it without power for several hours yesterday. Three residents died in the attack on energy supplies.

Officials stated that power had been restored to 1,162 Ukrainian villages and towns in 16 regions.

Zelensky stated that Vladimir Putin’s target of power supplies is a crime according to the laws on armed conflict. This was caused by hospitals being forced to use back-up generators.

Further drone attacks on energy supplies left parts of the capital without electricity for several hours yesterday. At least three residents were killed. A storage facility is seen after it was hit by a Russian drone near Mykolaiv

Parts of the capital were also affected by drone strikes on electricity supplies, leaving it without power for several hours yesterday. A minimum of three people died in the attack on energy supplies. The destruction of a Russian drone in the vicinity of Mykolaiv has caused an image showing a storage building.

“No space is left for negotiations to Putin’s regim,” said Mr Zelensky, again rejecting the idea of peace negotiations with the Kremlin despot. He added that the terrorist state would not be able to change any of its own actions with these kinds of actions.

It’ll only reinforce its evil and murderous nature, which will make it accountable.

Also, Dnipro’s main power plant, which is the entrance to Ukraine’s partly occupied industrial heartland, was struck. Zhytomyr also lost its power, home of key industries and bases west-of-Kyiv.

According to Mayor Serhiy Sukholyn, 150,000 of the 250,000 inhabitants were without power last night.

Pavlo Raboschuk (33-year-old computer technician in Zhytomyr) said that he is ready for ‘a hard and dark winter’, with warm clothing, dehydrated food, and battery stockpiled at his home. He said that he only remembers swear words.

Iryna Kolodzynska was a headmistress at a school and managed to get students back to their desks in less than 30 minutes after the raid. She said, “We cannot collapse.” “There are many regions who suffered more than us from war.”

Kyrylo Tymoshenko is the vice head of Ukraine’s president’s office. He stated that the situation was critical in the whole country as all regions depend on each other. It is important that the entire country prepares for any outages in electricity, water or heating.

Oleksandr Kharunzhyi spoke for Ukraine’s emergency service and said that more than 70 people were killed and 240 have been injured since Russia invaded Ukraine last Monday.

Eight missiles were fired at Kharkiv in the North East, Ukraine’s second largest city. It is located 25 miles away from Russia’s border. In its daily intelligence briefing, the UK Ministry of Defence stated that the strike campaign’s key goal was to cause extensive damage to Ukraine’s energy distribution system. 

According to the MoD, Russia’s battlefield defeats have likely increased its willingness to strike civil infrastructure.

Officials said 1,162 towns or villages across 16 Ukrainian regions were now without power. Mr Zelensky said Vladimir Putin¿s targeting of power supplies, a crime under the laws of armed conflict, was ¿causing massive blackouts¿ with hospitals forced on to back-up generators

According to officials, power was out in 1,162 villages or towns across 16 Ukrainian regions. Zelensky stated that Vladimir Putin’s targeted attack on power supplies is a crime according to the laws of armed conflicts. He was also causing massive blackouts, with hospitals being forced onto back-up generators

Unidentified senior Western official said that the Russians had run out of kamikaze missiles and was using them to help their defense.

Source said that it was becoming impossible for Russia to keep up with their saturating barrages precision weapons.

Pro-Kremlin Telegram stations praised Putin’s attack on civilian infrastructure for energy. Moscow has denied that they are using Iranian drones. Dmitry Peskov (Putin’s chief propagandist) said that Russian technology was being used.