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UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has hot-footed it to the Pentagon for "beyond belief" talks as the threat of Vladimir Putin going nuclear increases.
As the Russian President's "special operation" in Ukraine rumbles on, defence experts and media commentators have said he could go nuclear in a bid to fight back staunch Ukrainian resistance.
And now, it has been reported that the man tasked with protecting the UK shelved his appearance in front of the Commons Defence Committee on Tuesday, October 18, and flew to the US for summits in the Pentagon and White House.
READ MORE: Desperate Putin could unleash skin-melting chemical weapons to turn Ukraine war
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said Mr Wallace was meeting with his US counterpart for “the sort of conversations that [are] beyond belief really, the fact we are at a time when these sorts of conversations are necessary”.
A defence source said: “The Defence Secretary is in Washington DC to discuss shared security concerns, including Ukraine.
“He will be visiting his counterpart at the Pentagon and senior figures at the White House.”
The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, hosted Wallace in the Pentagon "to discuss the ongoing support to Ukraine by our two nations," as tweeted by the US Ministry of Defense.
It comes as Putin is "prepping an announcement tomorrow" according to a senior journalist at the Kyiv Post.
Expectation of a nuclear war, and possible retaliation from the West of a similar ilk, is growing in Russia, too.
The Sun reported, via a freelance journalist in Russia, that the country's people are snapping up equipment to build bunkers, as Kremlin chiefs hastily check if Putin's own bolthole is up to spec.
Telegram channel SOTA posted a leaked order for a housing cooperative to clear by today.
Putin's failing forces are marching into Ukraine with 'no shoes, no clothes and no guns'
And a local bomb shelter is to be set up to be used for cars by October 18.
The instruction said it had to be "brought into line with the direct purpose of a civil defence facility".
Moscow city government is demanding efforts "to increase the readiness of collective protective means”.
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The IStories media outlet reported that housing chiefs in the capital were also told to check bomb shelters were in good nick.
Nikolai Patrushev, a close ally of Putin's, has already ordered Russia’s Southern Federal District to "bring the protective structures of civil defence into proper condition".
NTV channel, which is owned by Gazprom, reported that "20-to-30 bunkers are bought in Moscow each week, and the trend is increasing."
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