What would happen if Russia turned into nukes?


The effects of a 500kiloton nuclear bomb – a large device but certainly not the largest in Russia’s arsenal – being dropped on London are illustrated above. Everything inside the yellow and red circles would be completely destroyed, with an almost 100 per cent casualty rate for anyone inside. Third degree burns are possible up to the edge of the orange circle


  • Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened to use Russia’s nuclear arsenal as his war in Ukraine falls apart 
  • Experts agree risk to West is low, but Biden warns ‘Armageddon’ is closer than at any time since Cold War
  • Dr Jeffrey Lewis, of the Middlebury Institute, walks MailOnline through the effects of a blast on major cities 
  • Anyone within a mile of the blast would likely die, with thermal radiation causing burns up to six miles away

Formerly the stuff of dystopian science fiction, Vladimir Putin has frequently spoken to a nuclear assault on the West as his conflict in Ukraine is losing steam.

A nuclear strike on Paris, London, New York, or Washington, DC is still extremely implausible, but it cannot be ruled out. Since the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Biden has personally warned that the world is now more than ever on the verge of “Armageddon.”

It is not a reality that any of us enjoy thinking about, but it is necessary to consider as we face the possibility of a new nuclear conflict between the east and the west.

The effect of a nuclear blast centered on New York’s financial district are illustrated, wiping out the entire southern tip of Manhattan and causing severe damage and burns spanning much of Brooklyn and Jersey

Vladimir Putin issues the command to use atomic bombs against the West while holed up in his nuclear bunker in the Ural Mountains. His Cheget Briefcase, which contains codes, is handed down the chain of command until it reaches the crew of a missile silo.

A short while later, an intercontinental ballistic missile shoots like a space rocket toward the stratosphere before exploding. It completes its mission high above the planet, unleashing its nuclear warheads, which are then guided by a reentry vehicle to their intended targets before being launched at supersonic speed back toward Earth together with decoys to fool defense systems.

Nuclear weapons can travel from Russia to the UK in approximately 15 minutes and from the US in about 30 minutes, so it is likely that the first signs of an assault would be a blinding flash and a gigantic fireball that would erase a city from the map.

Dr. Lewis explains using the example of a 500 kiloton nuclear bomb, which is not the biggest weapon in Russia’s arsenal but is more than thirty times larger than the Little Boy bomb that the United States detonated on Hiroshima.

The effects of a nuclear blast on Washington DC centered on the White House, which would incinerate, crush or irradiate almost all organs of state – including the Capitol and Supreme Court – along with half of Arlington National Cemetery

‘The first thing you’ll get is a fireball that will vaporise everything inside of it,’ he said. ‘That’s going to travel just over half a mile from the centre of the blast.’

If dropped on Westminster, that would result in the full destruction of the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, St. Thomas’ Hospital, and Westminster Abbey, with a 100% fatality rate for everybody there at the moment.

One World Trade and the western end of the Brooklyn Bridge would be reduced to ash if the financial area of New York City were the target. Everything four blocks away from Pennsylvania Avenue would be destroyed by a detonation that occurred atop the White House. Place de la Concorde and the majority of the Champs Elysees would vanish if the Elysee Palace in Paris were to be attacked.

The effects of a nuclear blast on Paris would destroy innumerable cultural treasures, including the Louvre and its artworks, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe

‘Then you’ll have shockwave that is going severely damage even really heavily built concrete buildings out to just over a mile from the blast, with everyone in that radius crushed to death’, Dr Lewis added.

That would result in the destruction of London’s busiest stations, Victoria and Waterloo, as well as Buckingham Palace. Almost everything from Chelsea Bridge to Blackfriars, as well as all of Soho and half of Mayfair, would be history.

Everything south of 2nd Street in Manhattan, including Wall Street, the Manhattan Bridge, Chinatown, and Little Italy, would be destroyed by a blast of a similar size.

It would virtually erase the whole National Mall from the map of Washington, D.C., including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the west, and the National Gallery of Art to the east.

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris would disappear. All of the Louvre’s artistic masterpieces, including the Mona Lisa, would be destroyed.


RELATED: Analysis: What is Russia’s policy on tactical nuclear weapons?

A frame taken from a Russian television broadcast on December 31 shows a set of briefcases which contain the codes to launch Russia’s armoury of nuclear missiles. Russian President Boris Yeltsin stunnned his own people and the world when he resigned on Friday and handed over his duties, including the briefcase, [to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during thier meeting in the Kremlin./File Photo

https://www.reuters.com/world/what-is-russias-policy-tactical-nuclear-weapons-2022-10-17/


According to Dr. Lewis, the blast wave will continue to travel for around two and a half miles before significantly slowing down and causing serious casualties and structure destruction.

That includes Battersea Power Station and the Tower of London. Regent’s Park throughout its entirety, much of Hyde Park, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, and Belgravia. From Camden to Brixton, the destruction would be extensive.

That would completely destroy anything south of 30th street in New York. The entire Lower East Side, West Village, Madison Square Park, and Union Park. The Flatiron Building. The explosion wave would pass over Jersey City and Brooklyn Heights. It’s conceivable that the Statue of Liberty would tumble into New York Harbor.

Paris landmarks including Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and Garde du Nord station would undoubtedly sustain irreparable harm. The Capitol, Jefferson Memorial, and a portion of Arlington National Cemetery in Washington would be fortunate to remain standing.

A very high dose of radiation would likewise be administered to everyone in that area. Although it would prove fatal for many, even among survivors, up to 15% of them would probably pass away later from cancer connected to the event.

While most experts agree the chances of a Russian strike on the West are minimal, Joe Biden has warned the risk of Armageddon is greater than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis (file image, nuclear blast shown on Russian state TV)

Acute radiation exposure kills because it severely harms bone marrow and blood vessels, weakens veins and arteries, and impairs your body’s capacity to produce white blood cells that fight disease.

The majority of radiation poisoning victims either get an illness that their bodies are unable to fight, essentially rotting alive, or their blood vessels burst, causing them to internally bleed to death. Weeks may pass before the process is complete, and recovery, if it occurs at all, may take up to two years.

However, a nuclear explosion’s effects do not end there. The shockwave continues to travel for another six miles or so, breaking windows and injuring people along the way. It does not stop there.

According to Dr. Lewis, everyone inside that radius who is directly exposed to the blast’s heat is likewise likely to experience horrible and maybe fatal burns in a “gruesome lottery.”

‘If you’re inside a building you’re probably OK, but if you’re exposed you’re likely to have third degree burns all over your body,’ he said. ‘You might get lucky and be behind a hill, or you might get unlucky and the same hill reflects a shockwave on to you that kills you.’

And that’s before considering the effects of nuclear fallout.


RELATED: EXPLAINER: How real are Putin’s nuclear threats in Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin warns that he won’t hesitate to use nuclear weapons to ward off Ukraine’s attempt to reclaim control of Moscow-occupied areas that the Kremlin is about to annex

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/explainer-real-putins-nuclear-threats-ukraine-90651682


Depending on the type of explosion Russia chose, the amount of fallout would vary. An airburst, in which the bomb is exploded several feet in the air to maximize the shockwave’s impact, produces relatively little fallout.

A groundburst, on the other hand, occurs when the bomb detonates close to the ground and creates a large amount of ash that is sucked up into the fireball and mushroom cloud that surrounds it before falling back to earth.

It may fall as black rain if it mixes with clouds, like it did after Hiroshima, or it may come down as snowflakes, as it did after the failed US nuclear test on Bikini Atoll during the Cold War.

People on the nearby islands remember the falling flakes and explain how kids caught them with their tongues because they had no idea what they were.

How far this spread would depend on the vagaries of the weather, but it could well drift up to 20 miles from the impact. That would take it outside of the M25 in London, through Yonkers in New York, past Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, or nearly midway between Washington, DC, and Baltimore.

Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened to strike countries deemed to be interfering with his war in Ukraine, and it is feared he is currently gearing up for the first open-air nuclear test since the 1960s

Dr. Lewis brings up the concept of a “gruesome lottery” once more. You’ll experience some really significant radiation pollution [there],” he predicts. Some of them will become seriously ill. Though a few days spent in seclusion in your home might actually help.

The explosion may also cause a “fire storm” akin to a forest fire, in which the amount of oxygen drawn into the fire creates its own weather patterns, causing the blaze to grow farther and faster than it otherwise would.

Although the precise magnitude of it would be largely unknown until the bomb detonated, Dr. Lewis estimates that might produce damage that is many times greater than the detonation itself. Hiroshima experienced a firestorm after being bombarded because the city had many wooden structures, he claimed.

‘But then, so did Nagasaki, and there was no fire storm. We don’t really know why. And we have no idea how a modern city would burn.’

Even then, the bomb’s consequences would still not be over. Although it is simple to concentrate on the overwhelming intensity of the bomb itself, the ripple effects may perhaps be more horrifying.


RELATED: Ukraine war: Biden warns Putin not to use tactical nuclear weapons

US President Joe Biden has warned Russia not to use chemical or tactical nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine.

Speaking during an interview with CBS News, Mr Biden said such action would “change the face of war unlike anything since World War Two”.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62936643


Thousands, if not millions, of people would suffer burns, broken bones, cuts, and other wounds in the aftermath, and most, if not all, of the hospitals in the blast zones would have been left to ruins with the doctors responsible for keeping them operational dead.

If attacks were to occur in London, Washington, or Paris, the government’s ability to organize a successful response to a crisis would be severely hampered and it would be unlikely that it would survive.

Energy, food, and water supplies would all be drastically reduced or cut off, aggravating the situation even worse. Transport infrastructure, including roads and trains, would also be destroyed, delaying the delivery of aid.

A population with severely compromised immune systems would be exposed to pests and disease in piles of dead bodies, creating the perfect environment for epidemics.

And it assumes that Russia dropped just one bomb. According to Dr. Lewis, the risk of society disintegrating altogether if Putin decided to strike several cities in the same nation at once is “not minor.”


RELATED: ‘I’m not bluffing on nuclear weapons’, Putin warns West

President tells nation in televised speech that hostilities in Ukraine now threaten the very existence of Russia

Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he was not bluffing on the use of nuclear weapons and ordered partial mobilisation of 300,000 reservists in a last-ditch effort to turn the war in Ukraine in his favour….

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/09/21/putin-calls-300000-reservists-partial-mobilisation/


In the event of a full-scale nuclear conflict between states, the amount of dust released into the atmosphere would be so great that it would cut down on the amount of sunlight that reaches Earth, ruining crops, obliterating fish, and triggering a so-called nuclear winter that would result in famine throughout the world.

Experts are deeply speculating on what will happen next and whether mankind will be able to survive in such circumstances, and none of it is positive.

Dr. Lewis observes grimly, “It is a running joke among nuclear experts that the best advice in the case of a hit is to make sure you die in the first wave.”

Dr. Lewis replied simply: “This is not a game,” when asked if he had any advice for Putin in light of his nuclear sabre-rattling. Keep your hands off of this.


REFERENCES:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11327611/What-happen-Russia-hit-major-city-nuke.html


by: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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