Tom Swarbrick hears from chemical weapons expert amid Ukraine crisis

4 March 2022, 17:29 | Updated: 4 March 2022, 18:26

By Tim Dodd

Chemical weapons expert Hamish De Bretton-Gordon has joined LBC's Tom Swarbrick amid the Ukraine crisis.

His appearance on the LBC presenter's show comes after Russian shelling sparked a fire at Europe's biggest nuclear plant in an attack which Boris Johnson said "could directly threaten the safety of all of Europe".

A fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant following an attack from Putin's tanks, in the battle for control of a crucial energy-producing city. Local authorities said this morning that the Russian forces had taken over the plant.

Read more: World's biggest plane, An-225 Mryia, destroyed in attack on Hostomel airport

The Former Commanding Officer of the UK's Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment said: "These nuclear weapons now are a tremendous size. Tactical nuclear weapon would perhaps have a yield of 20 kilotons, that's 20,000 tonnes of conventional explosive.

"People might remember the Beirut explosion last year which wiped out half of Beirut. That was 2,500 tonnes of conventional explosion... A standard battlefield weapon is about 4x that size.

"Some of the intercontinental ballistic missiles that the Russians have will certainly flatten 2 or 3 km diameter of a city and damage way beyond that."

However, Mr De Bretton-Gordo was clear that Putin's threat of nuclear warfare was "purely to terrify us" and had an "awful lot of rhetoric to it".

Read more: Zelenskyy calls for talks after Putin claims Ukraine is using civilians as ‘human shields’

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