London March 6 2022: The UK and allies have to be very cautious about Russia's threats, says the UK's chief of defence staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.
"We've got to maintain a calmness and responsibility so we don't just react rashly to whatever is the latest, frankly at times, bizarre or ridiculous comment from President Putin," he tells the BBC.
He stresses that the UK is part of the world's largest military alliance, Nato, and has a nuclear deterrent.
"We are prepared... we will also be incredibly confident in our ability to face down President Putin."
Asked if we would know if Russia was preparing to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, he said he didn't want to go into details but there would be "warning signs" if nuclear escalation was possible.
And asked if the UK was still communicating with Russia, he said the government had a direct line to Moscow’s operational headquarters, which was tested every day.
He says he recently used the line to request a meeting with his Russian counterpart, army chief Valery Gerasimov, and is waiting to hear back.