Vladimir Putin has given orders to prepare for use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, it is claimed.
Former Russian president Dimitry Medvedev has said the West is seeking to "destroy Russia " as allegations Putin is looking for an excuse to use nuclear weapons surface.
The Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council, Medvedev, said in an interview with Russian news agency TASS: "Russia is conducting a special military operation in Ukraine and is attaining peace on our terms.
"The goal is the same – to destroy Russia."
The General SVR Telegram channel, which claims to be run by a former officer of Russia's intelligence service, said Putin "gave direct orders to prepare" a false flag operation involving the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to justify the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
The post claimed: "One of the scenarios for the development of the conflict is being actively prepared, when Putin will be able to realise the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons.
"When this plan is implemented, part of the facilities at the station will be blown up and the power unit damaged...
"While Putin will speak accusing the leadership of Ukraine of nuclear terrorism, blaming Ukraine for the explosions and equating ‘nuclear terrorism’ with the use of nuclear weapons by Ukraine, giving the order to use tactical nuclear weapons as a ‘response’ measure.
Zaporizhzhia was hit over the weekend as both Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the damage.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it "Russian nuclear terror".
Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said he was "extremely concerned" and that the "very principle of nuclear safety has been violated."
United Nations Secretary-General, meanwhile, has called for inspectors to be given access after the "suicidal" attacks.
Shells reportedly hit a high-voltage power line on Friday causing its operators to disconnect a reactor, though no radioactive leak was detected.
General SVR's theory spoke of an act that justifies war being engineered by Putin.
They added: "Putin is sure that it is precisely the demonstration of the use of nuclear weapons with impunity in an armed conflict that will force the West to recognise his (Putin's) strength and force the whole world to reckon with him and go to his terms.
"This is, of course, idiocy and mortally dangerous, primarily for Russia."
Once considered Russia's liberal face, Medvedev has become increasingly hostile toward the West.
When using the word "b******s" to describe people who oppose Russia, it was unclear if he meant certain politicians, Medvedev explained his hatred.
He said: "I'm often asked why my Telegram posts are so harsh. The answer is that I hate them. They are b******s and degenerates.
"They want our death, that of Russia. As long as I am alive, I will do everything to make them disappear."
A spokesperson for the Kremlin official claimed a recent social media advocating for the invasion of Georgia and Kazakhstan was the result of a hack.
BDST: 12015 HRS, AUG 09, 2022