If a Russian missile hit the United States, a devastating explosion could cause half a million deaths and third-degree burns in the entire country. This is the frightening scenario illustrated by Nukemap, a modeling website created by nuclear-weapons historian Alex Wellerstein. It shows that an 800-kiloton Russian intercontinental ballistic missile would explode 1.8 miles above the White House, and third-degree burns would spread from Alexandria, Va. to Silver Spring, Md.
Russia has more nuclear weapons than any other country
According to the Federation of American Scientists, Russia has more than 5,700 nuclear warheads. Approximately 1,500 of these are retired and the rest are smaller tactical warheads. Russia is the largest nuclear power, owning ninety percent of the world’s nuclear warheads. It is estimated that the United States has five thousand warheads and France has a little more than four thousand.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, its nuclear arsenals were deployed in four new republics: Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. At the time, the former Soviet republics did not control their nuclear arsenals and were not bound by the treaty. However, after their joining of the NPT, they agreed to transfer their warheads to Russia for destruction. The United States also provided billions of dollars to help the process along. The weapons handover was completed by 1996.
To launch a nuclear weapon, Russia must have the approval of the president, the defence minister, and the chief of general staff. The Russian nuclear doctrine also allows the use of a tactical nuclear weapon, known as a “limited” nuclear explosion. These weapons can be used in a conventional conflict and can cause the enemy to retreat. Strategic nuclear weapons, on the other hand, are aimed much further away.
With more than 2,000 nuclear weapons, Russia has the capability to destroy any country that threatens its sovereignty. In the Ukraine crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nuclear-deterrence forces to be on alert in case of an attack. Russia has more than 1,500 warheads on strategic long-range missile systems and more than 3,000 warheads on reserve. And while Putin has threatened to use these weapons in the Ukraine conflict, the outcome of the conflict remains uncertain.
Russian missiles could reach the US
If Russia is able to develop hypersonic missiles, they could reach the U.S. in as little as 30 minutes. That’s not far from what the US has, and the Russians have only a small chance of surviving such an attack. If the United States were to lose control of the Pacific Ocean and allow Russia to build missiles, we could be at risk of a nuclear war. Russia also has thousands of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, which are not capable of reaching our territory.
Russia’s nuclear arsenal is far greater than the U.S.’s, containing 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons, which are developed for limited engagement and are launched on short-range missiles like those used by Ukraine. Russia also has a missile called the Iskander with a range of 500 km. Meanwhile, the US has 100 nuclear “gravity bombs” deployed around Europe.
The US and Russia also agreed to share data on their nuclear forces. They regularly notify each other of missile deployments and missile-launch facilities. By sharing this information, the US is able to keep a close eye on Russia’s arsenal. This information is vital for ensuring that the United States and Russia can prevent a nuclear war.
The Soviet Union conducts its first successful ICBM test in October 1957. The US and Soviet leaders are startled by the Soviets’ rapid technological advances. Fears of a first strike increase. The United States sets up NASA, which develops and tests nuclear missiles.
Russia’s nuclear arsenal is more sophisticated than North Korea’s
While North Korea and Russia both possess nuclear weapons, their arsenals are vastly different. Russia’s arsenal is 10 times larger than North Korea’s, and the United States’ arsenal is 100 times larger. Both countries use their arsenals to deter potential adversaries. However, it is not clear what will happen if either country decides to use its nuclear weapons.
The motivations for Russian behavior toward North Korea are complicated and varied. For one thing, Moscow views Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs as a growing threat to regional security, but it does not feel directly threatened by Kim’s nukes. Moscow also views its own nuclear arsenal as an essential attribute of great power status, and as the ultimate assurance of national security.
Russia may have a larger arsenal than North Korea, but North Korea will be unlikely to supply the latter with ballistic missiles. This is because North Korea views ballistic missiles as essential to its military strategy. It is therefore unlikely that the North will give up their nuclear weapons.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has also announced a partial mobilization of his reservists and the holding of referendums in regions of Ukraine that are under Russian control. He has also made stronger nuclear threats, stretching Russian nuclear doctrine. In addition to these actions, Russia is also in a dispute with Ukraine over the Ukraine’s territory.
Russia’s hypersonic missiles are capable of annihilating US cities
Russia’s hypersonic missiles are intercontinental missiles that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 20. The speed of hypersonic missiles is much higher than the speed of sound, which means they can easily reach US cities and annihilate them. The United States doesn’t yet have any effective defenses against hypersonic missiles. But with hypersonic missiles on the rise, the United States will have to find a way to combat this potential threat.
The Russian president recently boasted that his country was developing hypersonic missiles. He claimed that these missiles could strike targets up to 2,000km away. These weapons are highly maneuverable and difficult to detect, so they can strike a variety of targets with pinpoint accuracy. He also said that hypersonic missiles are difficult to shoot down.
Although the US has some hypersonic missiles, they don’t rely on them. The US has many other powerful weapons systems and heavy bombers. If Russia launches hypersonic missiles, they could destroy all of the US cities within a few minutes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s boasting about hypersonic missiles that can destroy US cities sparked fears of a future World War III. This recent inflammatory rhetoric by the Russian president and the military actions in Ukraine show the need for a robust U.S. nuclear force.
Russia’s nuclear arsenal is visible from space
Russia’s nuclear arsenal is visible from space, and the United States and its allies are using commercial Earth-imaging satellites to spy on the area. This effort is focused on the enclave of Kaliningrad, a region sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania and home to a number of nuclear and conventional weapon systems, including some hypersonic missiles. Despite the high cost and difficulty of spying on the area, the U.S. has been flying surveillance planes over Kaliningrad, gathering information. During the same time, Russia has been upgrading missile storage sites there.
The Russian nuclear arsenal is estimated to have over 7,000 nuclear warheads, although fewer than half are deployed. Approximately 1,600 of these warheads are pending retirement and 2,000 are stored but not destined to be used. Russia possesses five hundred and twenty-four ICBMs and 1,461 strategic warheads. Since the 2013 U.S. sanctions, the number of Russian entities that are subject to nonproliferation measures has increased.
The Northern Fleet bases on the Kola Peninsula contain ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads for their submarines. The facilities are surrounded by double or triple-layer barbed-wire fences, and entry-exit checkpoints are extremely tight. The facilities are undergoing massive renovations, and satellite images can give a pretty good idea of what’s happening there.
While it’s difficult to determine whether Russia would choose to use these weapons against the United States, many experts believe that it would not be a good idea for them to use them in a war. Despite their massive arsenal, Russia doesn’t want to risk an all-out nuclear war.
Retaliation with a nuclear weapon would be a mistake
Russia has a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons, and the Russian president recently reminded the world and Washington of its massive arsenal. The latest nuclear outburst was staged for television and was a reaction to Western aggression toward Ukraine. The US nuclear forces should remain the primary mission of the United States.
The Single Integrated Operational Plan is designed for prompt retaliatory attack, not a deterrent attack that occurs hours or days after the attack began. The goal of such a strike is to destroy the enemy’s weapons before they could reach the US. In an all-out nuclear war, the Soviets’ forces are vast and largely survivable, so a retaliatory attack would be counterproductive.
The US and Russia conduct drills to simulate nuclear alert status. A deviation from that practice would be obvious and highly noticeable. Both countries also maintain their ground-based nuclear forces in a constant state of readiness. Despite the high-stress status of these forces, they remain on alert, and would have to be at the ready at all times.
While the United States has never ruled out a nuclear attack, it has pledged not to attack non-nuclear powers with nuclear weapons. If the Russians had used nuclear weapons against us, we might be able to retaliate with equal force. Otherwise, the other nation might not want to risk the risk of nuclear war with the United States.