The CHILLING image is believed to show nuclear artillery being sent to Russia’s border with Ukraine when a new conflict is in danger of erupting into full-blown war.
At least six 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled mortars – capable of firing a 12-kilometer warhead – were shot on a flat train in southwestern Russia.
They were filmed as the train paused at the Kropotkin station in Krasnodar, near the annexed Crimea and the rebel-held Donetsk region of Ukraine.
The Tyulpan – codenamed M-1975 in the West – is an upgraded version of the Soviet-era 240mm self-propelled mortar.
The large bore means it can fire a wide variety of ammunition including high explosive and explosive ammunition, laser-guided Daredevil rounds, and even nuclear warheads.
It comes after Russia send 4,000 soldiers plus tank corps and armored troop ships to the border last week.
The Kremlin is also believed to have deployed air defense missiles when NATO is concerned about an invasion.
Today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the front lines in Donetsk after increasing clashes between the rebels and Russian-backed government forces.
Fierce skirmishes in recent weeks have raised concerns about a major escalation in the past seven years of conflict in the predominantly Russian-speaking Donbas region.
Tensions erupted when Russia warned it would “take additional measures” if Nato sent forces to assist its Ukrainian ally.
And yesterday, an ally of Putin said on state television Russia should consider nuclear fire if Nato does not step back to ask to withdraw.
Last week, Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer The recent escalation warning could see “war for a month”.
“The crisis has the potential to escalate into an all-European war, if not the world,” he said.
“Will it happen or not? Let’s wait and see.
“In the West, they don’t know what to do with it.”
When asked why Russia can foster conflict now, he replied: “Answer this question with a psychoanalyst. Do I need an explanation? “
He stated that Russia may be planning a “Normandy landing” between Odessa and Mykolaiv.
“Obviously, a major operation is being prepared, and other forces will be coming, too,” he said.
“People are talking about a possible tank invasion from Belgorod through Kharkiv in the direction of Zaporizhia to encircle the Ukrainian forces on the left bank of the Donbass.”
Vladimir Putin invades and takes control of Crimea after the civil war in eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014.
What’s happening between Russia and Ukraine?
RUSSIA and Ukraine are still at war technically since 2014.
Ukraine linked with Russia as part of the Soviet Union until it collapsed in 1991, after which it became an independent state.
The two countries remained closely tied together – but Ukraine gradually began to separate, seeking deeper ties with the West.
The open conflict was triggered by the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution – when an uprising toppled the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.
Vladimir Putin’s forces responded by annexing the Crimea region from Ukraine – a move widely condemned by the West.
Conflict then swirled as pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine then took up arms against the state.
Russia has supported them to the separatist forces that have formed separatist republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin’s forces then launched a military assault on these areas as they supported the rebels.
Russia continues to hold Crimea – and declared the region ready to join them after the referendum.
Almost seven years have passed and the War in the Donbass is still at a standstill.
An estimated 14,000 people were killed in the conflict, including more than 3.00 civilians.
Ukraine and the rebels signed a new ceasefire in July 2020 – but clashes have steadily increased since last November.
US President Joe Biden has offered Ukraine “solid support”.
Biden made a pledge in a phone call with President Zelensky on Friday after Kiev accused Moscow of building up military forces on its border.
The Biden White House “affirms the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity over Russia’s continued aggression in the Donbas and Crimea”.
Zelensky on Twitter said he was “excited” to speak to Biden and praised Kiev’s partnership with Washington as “very important to the Ukrainians”.
However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would take additional measures if the West sent troops, after declaring such a NATO action would escalate tensions near their borders.
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“There is no doubt such a scenario will lead to an increase in tensions near Russia’s borders,” Peskov told reporters.
“Of course, this will require the Russian side to take additional measures to ensure its security.”
However, he stressed that Russia “does not threaten” Ukraine, despite his earlier statement warning that a war in the Donbass would “destroy” its neighbor.