The BBC correspondent noted Vladimir Putin is unlikely to give up on his attempts to secure Kyiv despite the fierce resistance Ukrainians have mounted since day one of the invasion. Mr Gardner said the Russian President may seek to unleash the full force of his country’s non-nuclear arsenal to “raze” Ukraine’s capital to the ground as he did with Chechnya. Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: “What we can probably expect is an intensification of Russia’s offensive.
‘I don’t see them backing down at this stage, it would be miraculous if they did.
“But that would be a huge defeat for President Putin and the loss of face domestically, which he can’t afford.
“Quite possibly, despite the horrendous casualties already, and the damage to civilian areas, I think the gloves are going to come off.
“And you’ve only got to look at what happened in Grozny, in the Chechen capital during that conflict, to see how urban fighting when the Russians are involved can absolutely raze a city.”
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Mr Gardner continued: ” So it’s pretty scary.
“They could use their Air Force a lot more, completely demoralise the Ukrainian population.
“They could use something called thermobaric weapons which ignites an explosion that creates a supersonic shockwave and that shockwave kills everybody inside a building, including people hiding in the cellar.
“It’s the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in their arsenal and they could unleash those.”
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Speaking to Sky on Sunday, she said: “Every few weeks we will sanction new oligarchs.
“We will be targeting oligarchs’ private jets, we will be targeting their properties, we will be targeting other possessions that they have and there will be nowhere to hide.”
And later added: “If we don’t stop Putin in Ukraine we are going to see others under threat, the Baltics, Poland, Moldova, and it could end up in a conflict with Nato,” she said.
“Yes, there will be an economic cost here in Britain, there will be a cost in terms of access to oil and gas markets.
“I firmly believe that the British public understand the price we will pay if we don’t stand up to Putin now.”