US and Russia Continue Plans for a World-ending Nuclear War
August 28, 2018 Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge & Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast & Nikolay Shevchenko / Russia Beyond & Anton Valagin / Rossiyaskaya Gazeta
FEMA has significantly updated its nuclear disaster plans. The new scenario has been described as "truly terrifying." The new plan includes preparedness for a scenario involving large-scale thermonuclear detonations -- 100 kiloton to 1,000 kiloton detonations -- "over the 60 largest US cities." In Russia, 40 million people recently participated nuclear-war "defense" drills and massive bunkers have been built below Moscow to shelter millions of civilians in the event of a nuclear attack.
"Thermonuclear Detonations Over The 60 Largest US Cities"
-- FEMA Heightens Nuclear Response Readiness Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge
(August 24, 2018) – The Federal government's national disaster response and planning organization, FEMA, has significantly updated its nuclear disaster plans according to a new bombshell report in Buzzfeed, which describes the new plans as "truly terrifying".
The report is based on an exclusive interview with an unnamed US Federal Emergency Management official. Notably, the official indicated the new FEMA plan includes preparedness for a scenario involving "large nuclear detonations over the 60 largest US cities".
The plan was discussed on Thursday at a two-day National Academies of Sciences workshop for public health and emergency response officials held on Capitol Hill, and included emergency readiness planning for large-scale thermonuclear blasts by state actors, as opposed to a prior emphasis on terror organizations deploying tactical nuclear devices.
FEMA's head of its chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear branch, Luis Garcia, told BuzzFeed News, "We are looking at 100 kiloton to 1,000 kiloton detonations."
To put this in perspective the agency's current protocol for disaster relief planners only considers the emergency impact of 1 to 10 kiloton blasts, similar to the power of WWII era atomic bombs.
But according to FEMA conference participants, things changed when last year North Korea tested a surprisingly powerful thermonuclear bomb that had a reported blast estimate size of 250 kilotons, capable wiping out a whole US city.
One conference keynote speaker and expert, Cham Dallas, told the conference, "The North Koreans have really changed the calculus," and concluded, "We really have to look at thermonuclear now."
Dallas presented "speculative" analyses of a nuclear detonations in several cities -- including New York and Washington, DC -- at the workshop, suggesting that a thermonuclear blast roughly doubles the hundreds of thousands of dead and many more wounded (a 1979 analysis of a 1,000 kiloton blast in Detroit estimated 220,000 deaths, for example) compared to the atomic bomb blasts. They also cause many more burn injuries and larger fallout clouds that travel farther away.
FEMA's updated response plan reportedly includes mass preparations to deal with potential nuclear attack on 60 of America's largest urban centers, and establishing medical services to tend to all the various non-direct impact injuries that result in the aftermath.
Nuclear nightmare scene from Terminator 2: Judgement Day
But the planning doesn't just include direct impact and nuclear fallout as "the agency has also considered scenarios where a nuclear bomb, a cyberattack, a coordinated electromagnetic pulse, and biological weapons all hit the US at the same time," according to the Buzzed report.
Thus it appears the "duck and cover" days of the generation that lived through the heart of the Cold War and into the 1980s could be back.
Russia Is Building Fallout Shelters
To Prepare for a Potential Nuclear Strike
Is this self-defense, an implied threat to the West,
an excuse for political repression, or all of the above? Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast
MOSCOW (October 17, 2016) -- Managers of the Zenit Arena, a giant half-built stadium in St. Petersburg, received an official letter from the Ministry of Emergency Situations last week demanding that they immediately create shelter facilities for wartime. The stadium, under construction for the upcoming World Cup 2018, is located outside the city boundaries, the letter said, but in case of nuclear attack it is in the potential "zone of war destruction and radiation fallout."
The last time Russians heard authorities talk like this about a potential mobilization for a nuclear strike was 20 years ago, and it all seemed highly improbable. Now, it appears, the Kremlin is not joking. Up to 40 million people participated in recent civil-defense exercises all across the country, learning about how to hide and where exactly to run to in case of a nuclear war.
But whether the motive behind this is self-defense, an implied threat to the West, a means to mobilize and control public opinion, or all of the above, is not entirely clear.
"These are the most serious tensions between Moscow and Washington in decades, said Sergei Markov, a member of the Civic Chamber, a Moscow-based state institution. "The war might begin even before the November elections in the US"
"I personally plan to stock 200 cans of pork to be ready for a potential war crisis," Markov told The Daily Beast in an interview, "and I advise everybody to do the same."
State Duma Deputy Vadim Dengin said he hoped that there would be no war with United States. "I cannot understand why the West cannot just leave us in peace, let us be," the official said. "Americans should realize that it will be their children looking for shelters, too, if they are serious about attacking Russia."
On Thursday, Vladimir Gladkov, a 19-year-old student, said he heard from a neighbor that the closest bomb shelter to his apartment building was Kitai Gorod metro station.
A Thermonuclear Bomb on Moscow?
Gladkov, who was born years after the Soviet Cold War with the United States was over, sounded frustrated: "Americans are not crazy to bomb us, I am not sure why our authorities want people to experience hysterical panic attacks. Maybe somebody feels annoyed that we feel too free and happy," he suggested.
In Russia, where generations have suffered from wars or economic crises, panic takes over quickly as a kind of contagious epidemic and some respond with millennial obsessions.
During the impoverished years of the early 1990s, thousands of Russians moved to settlements in the Taiga seeking mystical salvation. Over 3,000 believers in Christ Vissarion still live in the Siberian woods waiting for the End of Light.
In 2012 many in Russia waited in fear for the Mayan Doomsday. People bought bottles of vodka, matches, and candles to survive the dark times.
There is an expression that every Russian knows well: "To save for a black day." And there are so many black days in Russian history -- not just days, but years of devastation.
"My life is just one everlasting black day," says Baba Zoya, an old woman living alone in the village of Bezvodnoye in the Nizhny Novgorod region. The 82-year-old pensioner finds winters especially hard to survive.
"On some cold winter days when every joint, every bone hurts, I have no energy to go out and buy a piece of bread," she told The Daily Beast. Her only comforts are her old dog and a falling-apart armchair outside of her old dark wood isba, a Russian traditional log house. She remembers World War II only too well -- dozens of Bezvodnoye men left one day and never came back. "I wish, my dear, that you live your life without such awful memories," she said.
Last week Perm, a city of more than 1 million people in the Ural region, prepared shelters "for the employees who would continue to work during wartime," the state Russia channel reported.
Experts from the Ministry of Emergency Situations inspected one of the shelters to make sure there is enough space, medicine, and minimal provision; the daily norm of water was three liters per person, the channel reported.
Television shows devoted to the civil-defense drills explained to Russians that there was no reason to panic, that during wartime authorities would make sure that there was no radiation on public transport, that every person would have at least 300 grams of bread per day.
From early morning on Thursday, activists received boxes with baby food, plastic bags full of diapers and used warm clothes at Russia Behind Bars NGO, which had been supporting Russian convicts for the last eight years. Were there bomb shelters for the population of Russia's prisons?
"No chance to survive in prison," the head of the NGO, Olga Romanova, told The Daily Beast. "Russian prisoners will be doomed, everybody in jail realizes that."
For her part, Romanova said she knew exactly where she would go and how many minutes it would take for NATO missiles to reach Moscow.
"If they bomb Moscow, I might make it to Taganka metro station, it takes me about 5 minutes to run from my house," Romanova told The Daily Beast. "My husband and I have already discussed and decided that we would only bring a couple of water bottles and our passports."
Anna Nemtsova is a correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast based in Moscow. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Politico, PRI, Foreign Policy, nbcnews.com, Marie Claire, and The Guardian. This Is How Russia Plans to Withstand
A Nuclear Attack -- And It Only Takes 30 Minutes Evacuate the president,
activate 'Dead Hand,' and
protect the population Nikolay Shevchenko / Russia Beyond
(August 23, 2018) -- Disclaimer: Although there's a specific government plan about what to do in case of a nuclear strike, Russia's Ministry of Emergencies believes that such an attack on major Russian cities is unlikely.
Since the world first saw nuclear weapons in August 1945, governments around the world have drawn up contingency plans on what to do if facing a nuclear attack.
Russia, of course, has such a plan, and based on open sources, mass media reports, and official documents, we try to reconstruct it here, minute by minute.
During the Cold War, Russia's main nuclear adversary was the US Even today, long after the nuclear standoff has ended, experts estimate the timeframe of a possible nuclear strike against Russia to be approximately 6 p.m. At this time, it's morning in the US and evening in Moscow, where a major part of the population will be stuck in traffic on the way home.
Immediately after a nuclear strike is detected, Russia's Early-Warning System sends a signal to the missile defense command center, and this system of radar and satellites reports the origin of the launch, as well as its speed and trajectory. It also estimates the time of impact.
If the military confirms that Russia has truly been attacked by nuclear missiles, (and that it's not a computer glitch), the government and people will only have 30 minutes to prepare for impact if the rocket is launched from the North American continent, but drastically less time if the launch comes from a submarine in the Arctic Ocean. Needless to say, in the event of a much-dreaded nuclear terrorist attack, it will only be a matter of mere seconds.
By that time the military will likely begin the evacuation of the president and other government officials to safe places. Although the exact location is classified, we know the president has a number of escape routes at his disposal.
The most publicized is the "Doomsday Plane" – a Tupolev Tu-214SR aircraft similar to Air Force One in its function: to keep the commander-in-chief out of harm's way and ensure his uninterrupted communication with the country's military forces.
It's reported that the Kremlin has three "Doomsday Planes" at its disposal, totalling some €130 million in cost.
By this time, the president may choose to enable the notorious Perimeter. This fully automated AI system is known as "Dead Hand" because of its macabre role: to ensure a retaliatory strike even if the country has been obliterated, or the government's command-and-control capability disrupted, or if there's no one alive to give the order for retaliation.
Perimeter begins the complex process of monitoring seismic activity, radiation and air pressure for signs of nuclear explosions on Russia's territory. It also begins monitoring the intensity of military communication for signs of high alert that would inevitably follow a nuclear attack.
The rest of the government is likely to be evacuated along with the president. Just as in the US, where the continuity of government is ensured by established procedures, Russia has its own line of succession in case the acting president is incapable of fulfilling his duty.
Russia's prime minister is the first person in the line of succession for the presidency, and will most likely be evacuated with the rest of his ministers and other civil and military officials.
The locations of doomsday hideouts are secret, but it's well known that Moscow has many bunkers built during Stalin's rule.
Some, such as Bunker-42 at the Taganskaya metro station, have lost their relevance and are now sites that attract tourist and diggers. But many others remain intact.
The mysterious project codenamed, D-6, and widely known asMetro-2, fuels speculation about secret escape routes for government officials.
Citizens must also be notified about the upcoming strike. In Russia, the Ministry of Emergencies is charged with managing the logistics of this doomsday scenario.
In case of a nuclear attack, the ministry favours evacuation of big cities to the countryside, but this strategy will take much time and can't be executed on short notice. Instead, the ministry's plan to use bomb shelters is more sound.
The Moscow Metro is probably the best place for shelter: it's deep enough to provide protection from a nuclear explosion, and many of the stations are equipped with protective-sealed doors and air filters.
A government plan approved by the Ministry of Construction states how quickly people must enter the Metro in case of emergency (including a nuclear attack).
"The estimated time for people to fill stations and tunnels after civil defense signals are sounded should equal 10 minutes,"says the document (link in Russian). In some cases, the time may be extended up to 15 minutes, but no more.
Naturally, the public will be notified as soon as possible in case of a nuclear attack and the precious 15 minutes will not be wasted. Yet, the government's rules allow for mass sheltering to be possible even if the alarm comes at short notice.
By that time, the president, the government and the country's military command, as well as citizens, must prepare for impact, taking shelter in bunkers or in the Metro.
After that, survivors will have to live in a world that none of us have seen before, and hopefully never will.
(April 3, 2014) – Russia's ultimate defense system will dispatch a retaliatory nuclear strike even if the command and communication lines of its Strategic Missile Forces are totally destroyed. The system is called 'Perimeter,' and in the US it has been nicknamed 'Dead Hand'.
The main command and control of the strategic missiles is called Kazbek. It is famous for its nuclear briefcase codenamed Cheget. Perimeter is an alternative command system of Russia's nuclear forces. It was designed to automatically control a massive nuclear attack.
The development of a system of guaranteed retaliation began in the midst of the Cold War when it became clear that electronic warfare systems, which were being constantly improved, would soon be able to block the regular channels controlling the strategic nuclear forces. A backup method of communication was needed that would guarantee the commands would make it to the launchers.
It was then that the idea was conceived to use a missile equipped with a powerful radio transmitter as a communication link. While flying over the Soviet Union, the missile would send the launch command not only to command centres of the strategic missile force, but also directly to the launchers.
On August 30, 1974, USSR secret decree № 695-227 ordered Dnepropetrovsk's Yuzhnoe Design Bureau, an intercontinental ballistic missile manufacturer, to create this system.
The UR-100UTTKh (NATO designation Spanker) was used as the basis for the system. Flight-testing began in 1979, and the first successful launch with the transmitter was on December 26. Tests confirmed all system components of Perimeter could successfully interact, and that the warhead of the command missile would stick to the desired trajectory.
In November 1984, the command missile was launched from Polotsk and gave a command to the silo launch facility of an RS-20 ICBM (SS-18 Satan) at Baikonur. The Satan was launched, and after each stage was tested, it was confirmed the warhead landed on the correct quadrant at the Kura test range on Kamchatka peninsula. In January 1985, Perimeter was commissioned. Since then the system has been updated several times, now modern ICBM missiles are used as the command missile.
The system is made up of command ballistic missiles. Instead of flying towards the enemy, they fly over Russia, and instead of thermonuclear warheads, they carry transmitters that can send a command to launch all available combat missiles in silos, aircraft, submarines and mobile ground units. The system is fully automated, the human factor is excluded or minimized in it.
The decision to launch command missiles is made by an autonomous control and command system -- a complex artificial intelligence system. It receives and analyzes a wide variety of information about seismic activity and radiation, atmospheric pressure, and the intensity of chatter on military radio frequencies. It monitors telemetry from the observation posts of the strategic missile force and data from early warning systems (EWS).
If it detects, for example, multiple point sources of powerful ionizing and electromagnetic radiation, it compares them with data on seismic disturbances in the same locations, and makes a decision whether or not there was a massive nuclear strike. In this case, Perimeter would initiate a retaliation strike bypassing even Kazbek.
Another scenario is if the country's leadership receives information from the EWS that other countries have launched missiles, it would activate Perimeter. If the shutdown command does not come within a certain amount of time, the system will launch missiles. This eliminates the human factor and ensures there would be a retaliatory strike even if the command and launch teams were completely destroyed.
In peacetime, Perimeter is dormant but continues, however, to analyze incoming information. When it is put on high alert or when it receives a warning signal from the EWS, strategic forces, or other systems, a monitoring network of sensors is launched to detect signs of nuclear explosions.
Russian leaders have repeatedly assured foreign governments that there is no risk of an accidental or unauthorized missile launch. Before launching, Perimeter checks for four conditions. First, whether there was a nuclear attack.
Then it checks the communication link with the General Staff. If there is still a link, the system shuts down. If the General Staff does not respond, Perimeter sends a request to Kazbek. If there is no response there either, the artificial intelligence gives any person in the command bunker the right to make the decision. And only then it starts to act.
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