Should Russia's army rebel against Vladimir Putin, the West would be in danger: Putin's successors would not accept defeat.
London - What happens if Russia has its back against the wall in the Ukraine war?
Could there be a mutiny in the army, Vladimir Putin will have to resign?
A former British diplomat, Tim Willasey-Wilsey, writes in the British security think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) that there have already been signs of mutiny in the army, such as the abrupt withdrawal from Kharkiv in September.
Willasey-Wilsey describes a rebellion by the Russian military against Putin in the Ukraine war as a reason for joy for the West.
"But a mutiny would also bring with it a few days of increased risk" - an increased risk of using nuclear weapons, according to the ex-diplomat.
was a British diplomat in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia for 27 years.
He is currently a
visiting professor at King's College London and lectures on the government's approach to warfare, approaches to conflict resolution, and terrorism and insurgency.
When Putin falls: Six steps to the apocalypse: This is how the nuclear weapons expert sees the danger
Tim Willasey-Wilsey sees six steps to the use of nuclear weapons if the Ukrainian army no longer encounters resistance.
Within a few days, the Ukrainian army would have retaken all the territory occupied by Russia since February 24.
"And then it would get complicated," said the security expert about possible scenarios in the Ukraine war.
Moscow would give Ukraine an ultimatum that the army would not be allowed to advance into territory that Russia had occupied before February 24 - that is, parts of the Donbas and the island of Crimea.
Germany and France would advise Ukraine not to go beyond the borders - but Britain and the US could perhaps encourage Ukraine to venture into Crimea too.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy could give the army a few days to protect the Ukrainian population in Donbas and Crimea from possible war crimes committed by the Russian army.
Ukraine would capture tens of thousands of Russian soldiers -- and perhaps hold them captive, despite Western pleas for their release.
Vladimir Putin would come under pressure in Russia: Alexander Bortnikov (director of the domestic intelligence agency FSB) or Nikolai Patrushev (former FSB director) could try to become Putin's successor - and take more extreme positions than Putin himself.
That would be the time when Russian nuclear weapons could be used: either as a deterrent over Ukraine or the Black Sea, but also aimed at a NATO state.
"All of this is not an argument for not ousting Russia from Ukraine, but it is an appeal to Western governments to communicate their intentions to Moscow with absolute clarity," the ex-diplomat demands.
"Basic would be an assurance to the Russian government and the people that their territorial integrity is in no way endangered before 2014," he writes, which he believes would be necessary if Putin were toppled and future developments in the Ukraine war.
Ukraine war: Experts warn of shock from nuclear threats
Only before a Ukraine support meeting in Ramstein did Putin's confidante Medvedev again threaten to use nuclear weapons.
And on Saturday, too, Medvedev openly threatened the West in connection with the tank deliveries in the Ukraine war.
Several experts warn against falling into shock from nuclear threats.
Peace organizations such as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) argue that one should not get used to the debate about the use of nuclear weapons.
Among other things, they are campaigning against further storage of nuclear weapons in Büchel, a German town in Rhineland-Palatinate with a population of 1,100.