World War 3 is back on the minds of many bloggers as Russia reminds the world of its nuclear arsenal and even conducts testing of it. Meanwhile Russian troops pour into Ukraine, further ratcheting up tensions there. Some commentators believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be considering unleashing nuclear warheads on Eastern Europe.
World War 3 worries reignited
Last week, Putin said, “Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words,” reports Business Insider.
Moscow conducted a drill showing off its nuclear defense capabilities last month, utilizing over 4,000 soldiers to show off its power. While some may suggest that Russia may kick off World War 3 with a nuclear strike, others are drawing comparisons with the Cold War, which does seem more appropriate—at least for now.
During the Cold War, relations between Washington and Moscow were strained, to say the list, after Russians invaded Afghanistan. During that time, the nuclear arms race was running hot and heavy as both Moscow and Washington raced to build nuclear weapons that could take just minutes to reach their target.
Russia prepared for U.S. nuclear strike
Russia has already put in place a system called Dead Hand or Perimeter, which is designed to prevent a nuclear strike from the U.S. The system is able to launch all of Russia’s nuclear weapons upon activation. The goal of the system was to launch a nuclear strike even if the West and NATO managed to wipe out Russian leadership. It begins by attempting to reach human contact to determine if anyone is left alive. If no one is alive, then the system automatically launches a nuclear strike.
If human presence is detected, then the system looks for signs of a nuclear attack, like radioactivity, extreme light and sudden changes in air pressure. If it decides that there had been a nuclear strike, then all of Russia’s nuclear weapons throughout the country would launch, targeting numerous locations all over the Northern Hemisphere.
Russian military strategy—will it plant the seeds for World War 3?
Putin adopted a policy of nuclear “de-escalation” in 2000, limiting the use of nuclear weapons. The policy calls for a limited nuclear strike if it sustained a major attack using conventional weapons that surpassed its ability to defend itself.
Experts say Russia is weak in the area of conventional weapons. If the fight with Ukraine escalates much further, NATO could get even more involved, and experts say Moscow knows it needs nuclear weapons to stand up to the global organization.