Today, the world watched on as a panel from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists unveils the Doomsday Clock will for the 75th time. They confirmed that it will remain at 100 seconds to midnight — midnight being the point at which humanity faces hypothetical global catastrophe. In its history, the clock has been moved backwards and forwards 24 times, the farthest being 17 minutes to midnight in 1991, the nearest being today’s 100 seconds.

With Russia poised to attack Ukraine, many, like Julian Borger, a Washington-based journalist, note that it is “hard to imagine the clock being set back ‒ and that means that the experts assess we are in greater danger now than ever.”

Security experts have sounded the alarm after around 100,000 troops amassed near the Ukrainian border and armoured divisions moved into Belarus within striking distance of the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

A senior defence source said they believed Mr Putin’s aim was to grab as much of Ukraine as he could.

Meanwhile, the UK Defence Secretary confirmed that RAF planes carrying “self-defence” weapons were deployed to Ukraine on Monday.

With Europe on the brink of an all-out war, Kate Hudson from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament told “Currently the hands on the Doomsday Clock stand at 100 seconds to midnight – the closest they have ever been, even at the height of the Cold War.

“The hands are so close because of the twin threats of climate catastrophe and nuclear war.

“All countries need to step back from the brink, including our own.

“Last year the Prime Minister announced an increase in our nuclear arsenal. This adds to the danger and encourages other countries to get nukes.

“We need to see countries working together to solve problems like climate change and the pandemic, not spending vast amounts on weaponry and engaging in confrontation.

“The only secure future for us all is a sustainable world without any nuclear weapons.”

The clock was birthed in 1947 and can be traced back to a group of international researchers called the Chicago Atomic Scientists, who took part in the Manhattan Project, which produced the world’s first nuclear weapons.

Throughout security talks in Geneva, Vienna and Brussels last week, Moscow insisted the threats were instead coming from Ukraine and NATO, criticising their strengthening of ties.