On Friday Vladamir Putin formally announced the annexation of Ukrainian territories along with a celebration in Russia where he angrily criticised the west. Western officials fear that this could escalate the use of nuclear weapons for the first time in 77 years (Washington Post, 2022).
Ukraine’s recent battlefield successes have maddened Putin’s allies including the leader of Russia’s southern Chechnya region, Ramzan Kadyrov, who suggested that “more drastic measures” should be taken by Moscow, including “the use of low-yield nuclear weapons” (The Guardian, 2022).
Former president Dmitry Medvedev also agreed, saying that Russian may need to resort to using nuclear weapons.
These comments have sparked outrage and ignited fears of a potential nuclear war.
However, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has indicated that the Russian military in its current state would be unable to operate on a nuclear battlefield, even with the threats of nuclear warfare.
It is suggested that if Putin did call for nuclear war, he would use short-range devices, rather than larger nuclear warheads. The largest tactical weapon, however, can be up to 100 kilotons (1 kiloton equals 1,000 tons of TNT) – the bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons (Dr. Rod Thornton, a security expert at King’s College London, 2022).
Paul Weldon, director of The Panic Room Company, comments: “the thought of nuclear war can seem quite far away but with the UK being a NATO state we need to be prepared for any eventuality.”
Continues Paul: “We have built several nuclear shelters over the last few years, but enquiries have recently significantly increased.”
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