Vladimir Putin is "concerned and delusional" and could launch a deadly nuclear attack against the West as a result, a US Senator has warned.
The claims come amid rumours that the Russian President's health is failing, with suggestions that he has cancer, Parkinson's disease or both.
Just last week, former MI6 spook Christopher Steele suggested that Putin's ill health could be impairing his judgement as the invasion of Ukraine continues to falter.
Now, with the tyrant reportedly at breaking point, Republican Senator Mitt Romney has expressed concerns over how the conflict ends.
Romney, who ran against Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, wrote in the New York Times that "NATO could engage" in Ukraine if Putin was to go nuclear.
This would lead to the potential "obliterating [of] Russia’s struggling military", he said.
Romney added: "You are either with us, or you are with Russia — you cannot be with both.
"Russia’s use of a nuclear weapon would unarguably be a redefining, reorienting geopolitical event.
"Any nation that chose to retain ties with Russia after such an outrage would itself also become a global pariah."
Explaining the threat of nuclear war, Romney cited previous similar warnings from CIA Director William Burns, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov.
In April, Burns said that Putin could turn to "tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons" out of "desperation".
Romney went on to call for the US to continue it's support of Ukraine's military efforts against the Russian invaders.
He warned that Putin may "invade and subjugate" other nations if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was forced to concede.
He made similar claims in an appearance on CNN back in February, saying that Putin – a "small, evil, feral-eyed man" – was trying to build a Russian "empire".
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