Ukraine LIVE: Horror as Iran supplying Putin with long-range ballistic missiles | World | News

Dr Simon Anglim, a military historian at King College London, believes the UK “is alerted” and said: “I strongly suspect the UK is already thinking about potential responses, it’s been thinking about this since the war began.”

Last month in an address, Vladimir Putin said Russia had “various weapons of destruction” and would “use all the means available to us”, before adding: “I’m not bluffing”.

In an interview with the Independent, Dr Anglim said that he believes defence officials in the UK are currently assessing how serious the Russian leader’s threats are and what could be genuine warnings of escalation during the war in Ukraine.

Dr Anglim said: “There are two schools of thought with this, one of them is that Putin is just a bumbling gangster, a blustering conman, Russia’s Trump. But the other view is that he’s very serious indeed about what he says.

“That’s a cause for concern for the Government in confronting him, but I would say we already have contingency plans in place.”

The historian believes that a nuclear response from Britain is very unlikely and would only be an “absolute desperate last resort” and would only take place in a scenario where there was a “clear, existential and immediate threat to the UK”.

He said that if Russia did use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, Britain would likely not act on its own but rather as a coordinated response with NATO.

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