Here is the Sixth Seal Zone (Revelation 6:12)

Here are the hidden earthquake zones you don’t know about

April 13, 20204 Min Read

Let’s get able to (probably) rumble.

A report this week from the Los Angeles Instances took a have a look at what a devastating earthquake may do to Los Angeles — and the classes to be discovered from the calamitous 6.three magnitude quake in 2011 that every one however flattened Christchurch, New Zealand.

However whereas People are conscious of the San Andreas fault and the seismic exercise in California, which has wreaked havoc in San Francisco and Los Angeles, there are different, lesser-known fault traces in the United States that fly dangerously underneath the radar. These cracks in the crust have prompted appreciable harm in the previous — and scientists say will achieve this once more.

Virginia Seismic Zone

Richmond, VirginiaShutterstock

In 2011, New Yorkers had been jolted by a 5.eight magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast from New Hampshire all the approach down by means of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The quake’s epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, about 90 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and was so highly effective that Union Station, the Pentagon and the Capitol Constructing had been all evacuated.

The quake woke lots of people in the northeast as much as the Virginia Seismic Zone (VSZ) under the Mason Dixon — and the consequential results it may have on main cities alongside the East Coast. The final time the VSZ prompted a lot chaos was in 1867 when it launched an earthquake of 5.6-magnitude — the strongest in Virginia’s historical past.

Ramapo Fault Zone


It’s not simply the Virginia Seismic Zone New Yorkers have to fret about. Nearer to house is the Ramapo Fault Zone, which stretches from New York by means of New Jersey to Pennsylvania and was most energetic tens of millions of years in the past throughout the formation of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s answerable for a number of of the fault traces that run by means of New York Metropolis, together with one underneath 125th Avenue. In line with a New York Publish report in 2017, “On common, the area has witnessed a reasonable quake (about a on the Richter scale) each hundred years. The final one was in 1884. Seismologists say we will anticipate the subsequent one any day now.” Enjoyable occasions!

The New Madrid Seismic Zone

This 150 mile-long sequence of faults stretches underneath 5 states: Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, and is answerable for 4 of the largest earthquakes in the historical past of the United States, which befell over three months from December 1811 and February 1812. The quakes had been so robust the mighty Mississippi River flowed backward for 3 days. Fortunately, the space was not as populated as it’s now, so the harm was restricted. Nonetheless, a FEMA report launched in 2008 warned {that a} quake now could be catastrophic and end in “the highest financial losses as a consequence of a pure catastrophe in the United States.”

The Northern Sangre de Cristo Fault

Downtown Trinidad, Colorado Shutterstock

In 2011, a magnitude 5.three quake hit Trinidad, Colorado, one other space that has seen little seismic exercise on such a big scale. In line with the Colorado Division of Homeland Safety and Emergency Administration, The Sangre de Cristo Fault, which lies at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains alongside the japanese fringe of the San Luis Valley, and the Sawatch Fault, which runs alongside the japanese fringe of the Sawatch Vary, are “two of the most distinguished probably energetic faults in Colorado” and that “Seismologists predict that Colorado will once more expertise a magnitude 6.5 earthquake at some unknown level in the future.”

The Cascadia Subduction Zone

One in every of the most probably harmful fault traces lies north of California, stretching between Oregon and Washington. Main cities like Portland, Seattle and Vancouver lie alongside the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which scientists say has the functionality of a or 10 magnitude earthquake — 16 occasions extra highly effective than the 1906 quake which ravaged San Francisco. A quake of this magnitude would have devastating penalties on infrastructure and will probably set off large tsunamis. The risk is so nice, the BBC even did a nifty video on the potential MegaQuake risk.

Ukraine is the War before WW3: Revelation 16

Is Ukraine the ‘war before the war’?



When Russia began its effort to conquer Ukraine a year ago, there was every reason to believe the end result would be disastrous for the West. Moscow had Kyiv outgunned and vastly outmanned. The West had done little in response to previous Russian land grabs in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, and the European economy was in thrall to Russian energy. If somehow we did muster the courage to push back, surely the result would be a NATO-Russia war, perhaps a nuclear war — or so the thinking went at the time.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a heinous crime which the whole world would have been better off without. Yet it has gone far better for Ukraine than any could have hoped at this time last year, thanks both to Ukrainian bravery on the battlefield and the home front, and a perhaps surprising level of Western resolve and material assistance. What’s more, the war, for all its miseries, could prove to hold unexpected benefits for U.S. national security: It has revealed much about the West’s strengths and vulnerabilities, and these lessons can help prepare us for — or better yet, prevent — the next great-power conflict, should we choose to heed them.

The most important of these lessons is that the West has both the will and capacity to stand up to a nuclear-armed power bent on territorial aggrandizement — something that was not at all obvious at the war’s beginning. To be sure, the task in Ukraine is far from finished, and it is vital that the West help Kyiv bring the war to a victorious conclusion. But just as important is that we consider how we could replicate the relative success of this past year in other scenarios — most crucially, if China were to attempt to seize Taiwan.

This means not simply ensuring that Taiwan has the means to defend itself and that the U.S. is positioned to come meaningfully to its aid, but that Taiwan’s supporters in the West have prepared for the economic consequences of a conflict in Asia, which would dwarf those of the Ukraine war. 

The U.S. and its partners must plan not only to impose economic pressure on China, but to protect themselves from Beijing’s own economic leverage. We should focus first on inputs such as mining of rare earth minerals, which are vital to the high-tech and defense industries and depend almost entirely on Chinese supply chains that would be impossible to quickly replace in a time of conflict. Taken together, such steps not only would enhance Western readiness to respond to a Chinese move on Taiwan, but ideally deter Beijing from making the attempt.

During the Ukraine conflict, the West’s efforts to isolate Russia have been hampered by a lack of support from partners outside North America and Europe. These states have largely accepted Russia’s framing of the conflict as pitting Moscow against NATO, when in reality it is a war of naked aggression against Ukraine. They also reject efforts by the West to cast the war in moral terms, instead prioritizing their own national interests, which in many cases have been well served by buying up Russian oil made cheaper by Western sanctions.

The problem of recruiting such states to our side — including vital powers such as Turkey, India and Saudi Arabia — in a conflict involving China could be even more acute, given Beijing’s dominant role in global trade. Persuading them will require casting aside talk of “with us or against us” or value-based coalitions and instead identifying narrower actions they can take, which serve rather than undermine their interests. Making clear to them the economic consequences of a conflict in Asia may lead them to urge Beijing to forswear a move on Taiwan.  And while a wealthy state such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may be reluctant to broadly condemn Beijing, it is far likelier to finance rare-earth mines, chip fabrication facilities, and similar ventures outside of China ahead of any conflict — steps that will mean far more than any vote in the United Nations General Assembly.

The second key lesson of the Ukraine war is that the West’s militaries were not ready for it. For all the attention paid to Germany’s decision about sending its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the lion’s share of military aid to Ukraine was provided by the United States. The perception that this assistance has undercut American readiness for conflicts elsewhere is a key factor in waning support for the war effort among some Republicans, which may prove to be a significant factor in determining the conflict’s course this year and next. The harsh reality, however, is that the U.S. defense industry would not be ready for a conflict in Asia even without the diversion of materiel to Ukraine — recent war games suggest the U.S. would run out of precision-guided munitions within just a few weeks of such a war.The new era of counterintelligence must shift focus to the gray zoneThe 21st century’s Gramsci problem

Even a reinvigorated U.S. defense industrial base will not be sufficient to supply the West in the event of more than one major conflict. Nevertheless, the need for vigilance against Russian aggression will not diminish even as the chance of conflict in Asia increases. The upshot of these realities is that it is vital that Europe be ready to assume a greater role in its own security. This means not simply spending more on defense in parallel with the United States, but invigorating its defense industry so that the sort of systems that only Washington can provide today — which is most of them — needn’t be shipped across the Atlantic. Some worry that a stronger European defense industry and capability will threaten NATO; in fact, it may be vital to NATO’s continued credibility should the United States need to more seriously turn its attention to Asia.            

Looking back decades hence, it may be that the Ukraine conflict is remembered as “the war before the war” — a conflict that prefigured other, sharper conflagrations amid a turbulent 21st century. If so, the course of those subsequent wars may depend on whether the West heeds the lessons of this one.  

Michael Singh is managing director and Lane-Swig Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and director of the Glazer Program on Great Power Competition and the Middle East. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelSinghDC.

The Russian Horn Prepares for Nuclear War: Revelation 16

Ramil Sitdikov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via APRussian President Vladimir Putin arrives to deliver his annual state of the nation address in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.

Putin says he’ll strengthen nuclear forces after suspending Russian participation in treaty

BY JULIA MUELLER – 02/23/23 11:13 AM ET


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said he would strengthen Moscow’s nuclear forces after he moved to suspend Russia’s participation in its major nuclear arms treaty with the U.S.

Putin said Moscow will “put our focus on strengthening the nuclear triad” of land, air and sea weapons, according to a transcript from the Kremlin. His remarks came one day before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“This year, the first Sarmat missile system launchers with the new heavy missile will be put on combat duty. We will continue full production of the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic systems and begin mass deployment of Tsirkon sea-launched hypersonic missiles,” Putin said. 

“With the Borei-A nuclear-powered submarine Emperor Alexander III becoming operational in the Navy, the share of modern weapons and equipment in the naval strategic nuclear forces will reach 100 percent. In the coming years, three more cruisers from this project will be delivered to the Navy.”

Putin announced he was suspending Russia’s participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty in a speech hours before President Biden gave remarks in Warsaw, Poland, to highlight U.S. support for Ukraine and vow that “Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail.”

The U.S. president a day earlier had visited embattled Kyiv, Ukraine, to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was his first trip to the country since the start of the war.5 questions remaining on East Palestine derailment after preliminary NTSB reportTrump lawyers call Georgia special grand jury proceedings ‘clown-like’ after forewoman’s remarks

Biden called Russia’s suspension of the arms treaty a “big mistake” but later said the U.S. has no indication Moscow is moving to actually use the weapons. 

“It’s a big mistake to do that. Not very responsible. And — but I don’t read into that that he’s thinking of using nuclear weapons or anything like that,” Biden told ABC News.

South Korean Horn is Ready to Nuke Up: Daniel 7

What makes South Koreans so eager for nuclear deterrent?

70% of public favor going nuclear to counter threats from Pyongyang, Beijing

A missile is fired during joint U.S.-South Korea military drills at an undisclosed location in South Korea in May 2022. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

HIROSHI MINEGISHI, Nikkei senior staff writerFebruary 19, 2023 10:09 JST

TOKYO — A large majority of South Koreans support the idea of arming the country with nuclear weapons in the face of growing threats from North Korea.

Recent polls show that more than 70% of those surveyed support the deployment of nuclear arms in the country. “We must make overwhelmingly superior war preparations [to ensure peace],” said South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in December last year, echoing the public sentiment on the issue.

At a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Jan. 31 in Seoul, Yoon said he wants to see “an effective and powerful system of extended deterrence” to help dispel public concerns, basically telling the Pentagon chief that the current level of U.S. nuclear deterrence is not sufficient to counter the rising threat from North Korea. Austin replied that the U.S. will “make efforts” to gain the trust of South Koreans.

On Jan. 30, the day before the Yoon-Austin meeting, Gallup Korea released the results of a recent poll that showed 76% of respondents said the country needs to develop its own nuclear weapons, three times as many as opposed the idea. A separate survey by a private think tank, conducted in May 2022, also found 70% in support of South Korea possessing nuclear weapons.

Behind this strong support are growing concerns about North Korean intentions. Various polls indicate that 80% to 90% of South Koreans think it will not be possible to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula anytime soon, given the North’s intransigence.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, greets U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during a meeting in Seoul on Jan. 31. (South Korea Presidential Office/Yonhap via AP)

Compared with Japan, the only country ever hit by atomic bombs, South Korea has few qualms about acquiring a nuclear deterrent. With North Korea hinting at the possible use of tactical nuclear arms, many South Koreas think that it is futile to try to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arms, and that it is best to respond to nuclear threats with nuclear weapons of its own.

It is not just when conservatives are in power that the public has shown strong interest in a nuclear deterrent. In a survey result published by the Korea Institute for National Unification, a government-backed think tank, in late 2021 — when liberal President Moon Jae-in was in office — 71% of South Koreans backed the idea of the country going nuclear.

There is also growing public wariness of China. According to a joint survey conducted in Japan and South Korea between July and August 2022 by Tokyo-based nonprofit The Genron NPO and others, nearly two in three South Koreans said they see China as a “military threat.” A survey taken in February through June of the same year by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center found that 80% of respondents had negative views of China.

Given the country’s painful history of exploitation and oppression by foreign powers, both liberals and conservatives tend to seek greater self-reliance in defense, with many seeing nuclear weapons as an effective means of ensuring national sovereignty and survival. Unlike many other countries, liberals tend to be more nationalistic than conservatives in South Korea.

Some South Koreans also remain distrustful of the U.S. In fact, many still talk about the Katsura-Taft agreement of 1905 and the Acheson line of 1950. The former refers to a secret accord reached between Japanese Prime Minister Taro Katsura and U.S. Secretary of War William Taft that ceded control of the Korean Peninsula to Japan in exchange for its pledge not to interfere in the U.S. occupation of the Philippines. Many see the agreement as a precursor to Japan’s annexation of the peninsula in 1910.

The Acheson line refers to a strategic defense line mentioned by U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson in 1950. Acheson said the peninsula would fall outside the U.S. defense line, a comment that some believe triggered the invasion of South Korea by Pyongyang, which took his words as a sign of Washington’s reluctance to defend the South.

In the 1970s, South Korea, which still lagged the North in terms of military power, embarked on a covert nuclear weapons development program under President Park Chung-hee, who feared that the U.S. would abandon South Korea at some point.

Seoul dropped the project in the face of strong objections from Washington. Yet a half-century later North Korea’s drive to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of targeting the entire U.S. mainland is fueling concern about American willingness to risk its security to protect South Korea. Yoon’s recent statement regarding nuclear arms reflects public concern about the credibility of the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

Earlier this year, Yoon said South Korea may have to consider acquiring its own nuclear deterrent if the North further escalates its nuclear provocations. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration quickly denied that the U.S. had any plan to reintroduce nuclear weapons into South Korea, as it continues to push for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S., which deployed nuclear weapons to the country in 1958, withdrew them in 1991.

Biden is also critical of the idea of South Korea developing its own nuclear arms. In response, Yoon said he would seek “a realistically possible option.”

North Korea shows off missiles during a military parade in Pyongyang on Feb. 8. (KCNA via Reuters)   

Based on an accord between Seoul and Washington, South Korean forces will come under U.S. operational command in a military emergency. The alliance would probably collapse if Seoul pursues nuclear development in the face of U.S. opposition. Yoon is unlikely to risk that possibility, many pundits say.

On Jan. 31, Austin and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong-sup, reaffirmed that the U.S. will continue working to strengthen its extended deterrence. Austin said the U.S. would deploy more advanced tactical weapons to South Korea, including F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. But he disappointed South Korean officials, who had hoped he would mention giving Seoul a role in the operation of U.S. nuclear forces under a “nuclear-sharing” arrangement, or starting “routine” and “continuous” stationing of aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines in waters around the Korean Peninsula.

Washington and Seoul continue to tread a fine diplomatic line: While Yoon does not hide his interest in obtaining nuclear arms, the U.S. has refrained from criticizing him harshly, showing some understanding of South Korean sentiment, as demonstrated by Austin.

While engaging in a tug of war over nuclear issues, Washington and Seoul are well aware of the impact such talks could have on Beijing, which is increasingly concerned about the prospects of “nuclear dominoes” falling in East Asia, the potential for nuclear proliferation from South Korea to Taiwan to Japan.

It seems the tussle between the U.S. and South Korea has also had an effect on North Korea, which has stepped up its nuclear and missile development programs, but has so far refrained from holding a seventh nuclear test.

Who is the Antichrist? (Revelation 13)

who is muqtada al-sadr karadsheh jsten orig_00004724Who is Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr?

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Updated 5:20 AM ET, Fri May 6, 2016(CNN)

Muqtada al-Sadr isn’t an ayatollah.

He’s not a general and he’s not a politician, at least in the conventional sense. But with a single speech he can spark a protest that ends up in with hundreds of Iraqi Shiites storming their parliament. He’s commanded a militia of thousands, some who fought and killed U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. And he’s been on TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people on the planet.

Iraqi protesters overrun green zone

This is how he’s managed to gain such prominence — and retain it.

The Sadr family

Sadr was born in 1973 in the Shiite holy city of Najaf to a prominent family.

The city, which is about 100 miles south of Baghdad, is home to the Imam Ali shrine, where the eponymous cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad is buried. Shiites believe that Ali was the rightful successor to Muhammad.

Sadr’s father, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, was an important Shiite figure in Iraq who openly spoke out against Saddam Hussein and his ruling Baath party.

The elder Sadr and two of his sons were assassinated in 1999 in Najaf, and many believe that he was killed either by the dictator’s forces or Sunnis loyal to him.

Despite the cult of personality Muqtada al-Sadr has developed in recent years, he is still a relatively private man. He does not appear in public often and his exact age was not known until recently.

Protesters in Kadhimiya, Iraq, hold up pictures of Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, Muqtada al-Sadr’s father.

The Mehdi Army

Sadr is best known to Western audiences for his role leading the Mehdi Army, which he formed in 2003 during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The militia is considered the armed wing of the Sadrist movement, which followed the teachings of Sadr’s father. Its power base was in Najaf and the massive Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, which is home to more than 2 million Shias.

Sadr himself opposed the presence of outside forces in Iraq — be they al Qaeda’s Sunni fighters or U.S. forces — and hoped to establish Islamic rule within the country, clashing with the Iraqi Army, U.S. forces and fellow Shias.

By 2004, forces loyal to Sadr battled the U.S. for control of Najaf. President George W. Bush labeled him an enemy and ordered the U.S. military to take him out.

U.S. Marines in northern Kuwait gear up after receiving orders to cross the Iraqi border on March 20, 2003. It has been more than 10 years since the American-led invasion of Iraq that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. Look back at 100 moments from the war and the legacy it left behind.

“We can’t allow one man to change the course of the country,” he said, according to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.

Within a week, Bush changed course and decided not to go after him.

“That reversal was the turning point in al-Sadr’s rise to power,” Sanchez, who commanded U.S. forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, said. “It gave him legitimacy and enhanced his stature within the broader Iraqi community.”

Later that year, Sadr made peace with the most powerful Shia religious figure in Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who brokered a truce between U.S. forces and the Mehdi Army. The deal brought together the unquestioned spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shia population and the man who could mobilize the Shia “street.”

The Mehdi Army in Najaf in 2007.

As part of the agreement, the Iraqi government agreed not to press charges after a judge issued an arrest warrant for Sadr in connection with the killing of another prominent Shia leader, Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei.

But the Mehdi Army became even more deadly as the war dragged on.

The militia was linked to much of the sectarian violence that reached fever pitch in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. It was accused of running death squads, killing Sunni Arabs and fighting with rival Shiite factions, though Sadr would denounce the violence from time to time.

After more than 200 people were killed in an attack on Sadr City in 2006 — one of the deadliest periods in the Iraq war — Shiite militants responded by burning people to death and attacking Sunni mosques.

By the end of the year, Pentagon leaders assessed that the Mehdi army had replaced al Qaeda as “the most dangerous accelerant” of sectarian violence in Iraq.

But the Mehdi Army also clashed with other Shiite militias. The group often clashed with Badr Brigades for control of parts of Iraq’s Shiite-dominate south. At one point the Badr Brigades partnered with Iraqi security forces to fight the Mehdi Army.

However, the Mehdi Army’s power and influence began to subside by the end of 2007, in part due to the U.S. troop surge.


Sadr’s capacity to reinvent his role in Iraqi politics, and to tap into a strong vein of Shia protest, has helped him survive and outmaneuver many rivals over the past 13 years. His latest initiative reinforces his place as one of the most influential figures in Iraq.

He and the Iraqi government signed a ceasefire in 2008, and later that year he formally disbanded the Mehdi Army.

The organization is now called Saraya al-Salam, which means the Peace Brigades.

His plan was to transition it into a socio-political populist movement to help Iraq’s poor Shiites through a combination of political and grassroots activities — following a similar model to the structure of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Sadr would move to Iran later that year for religious study. Some believed that he hoped to achieve a higher religious standing, like Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, in order to strengthen his leadership position.

Muqtada al-Sadr delivers a speech in Najaf in 2011.

He returned to Iraq permanently in 2011 — more than three years later — without a new title, but with ambitions to become an Iraqi nationalist leader who could make a difference by growing his movement and pushing his followers to the ballot box.

“We have not forgotten the occupier. We remain a resistance,” he said in one of his first speeches back. Sadr did strike a conciliatory tone with fellow Iraqis: “Whatever struggle happened between brothers, let us forget about it and turn the page forever and live united,” he said. “We do not kill an Iraqi.”

Though Sadr rarely makes public appearances, his plan seems to have worked so far.

During Iraq’s 2010 elections, his supporters were key to helping then-Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki secure a second term; today they make up the second-largest bloc in Iraq’s Parliament.

Muqtada al-Sadr and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in 2006.

But Sadr and Maliki have since had a nasty falling out, and now are considered rivals in Baghdad.

After the 2010 election, Sadr referred to Maliki as a “dictator.”

He often called for the government to better include moderate Sunni elements, a faction that most say was marginalized by the Maliki government, which led to his ouster (and in part contributed to the rise of ISIS).

Long-time U.S. enemy threatens ISIS leader

His support for Iraq’s current Prime Minster, Haider al-Abadi, is lukewarm at best.

Sadr is now focusing his efforts on reshaping Iraq’s government — he wants more technocrats appointed and to go after corrupt politicians.

Sadr’s supporters held massive protests earlier this year to push Abadi to form a new government and enact reforms. The demonstrations were called off after Abadi trimmed the size of his Cabinet and submitted a new list of nonpolitical ministers for approval by parliament.

And it was Sadr’s impassioned speech late April that spurred protesters to occupy the Iraqi Parliament and Baghdad’s Green Zone, a normally off-limits area housing government buildings and foreign embassies.

CNN’s Tim Lister, Hamdi Alkhshali, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Elise Labott contributed to this report

How Big is the Russian Nuclear Horn? Daniel 8

Russian President Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow, Russia February 21, 2023. Sputnik/Dmitry Astakhov/Kremlin via REUTERS.

Factbox: Russia’s nuclear arsenal: how big and who controls it?

By Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday delivered a nuclear warning to the West over Ukraine, suspending a landmark nuclear arms control treaty, announcing new strategic systems had been put on combat duty and warning that Moscow could resume nuclear tests.

What is Russia’s nuclear arsenal, how big is it and who commands it?

Putin controls around 5,977 such warheads as of 2022, compared to 5,428 controlled by U.S. President Joe Biden, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Around 1,500 of those warheads are retired (but probably still intact), 2889 are in reserve and around 1588 are deployed strategic warheads.

About 812 are deployed on land-based ballistic missiles, about 576 on submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and around 200 at heavy bomber bases, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The United States has around 1644 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. China has a total of 350 warheads, France 290 and the United Kingdom 225, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Such numbers mean that both Moscow and Washington could destroy the world many times over.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had a peak of around 40,000 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. peak was around 30,000 warheads.

The key, though, is how to deliver the weapon – the missiles, submarines and bombers that carry the warhead.

Russia appears to have about 400 nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles, which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimate can carry up to 1,185 warheads.

Russia operates 10 nuclear-armed nuclear submarines which could carry a maximum of 800 warheads. It has around 60 to 70 nuclear bombers.


The United States said in its 2022 Nuclear Posture Review that Russia and China were expanding and modernising their nuclear forces, and that Washington would pursue an approach based on arms control to head off costly arms races.

Putin said he had information that the United States was developing new types of nuclear weapons.

Russia has been modernising its nuclear weapons.

Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, only a few countries have tested nuclear weapons, according to the Arms Control Association: The United States last in 1992, China and France last in 1996, India and Pakistan in 1998, and North Korea last in 2017.

The Soviet Union last tested in 1990.


The Russian president is the ultimate decision maker when it comes to using Russian nuclear weapons, both strategic and non-strategic, according to Russia’s nuclear doctrine.

The so-called nuclear briefcase, or “Cheget” (named after Mount Cheget in the Caucasus Mountains), is with the president at all times. The Russian defence minister, currently Sergei Shoigu, and the chief of the general staff, currently Valery Gerasimov, are also thought to have such briefcases.

Essentially, the briefcase is a communication tool which links the president to his military top brass and thence to rocket forces via the highly secret “Kazbek” electronic command-and-control network. Kazbek supports another system known as “Kavkaz”.

Footage shown by Russia’s Zvezda television channel in 2019 showed what it said was one of the briefcases with an array of buttons. In a section called “command” there are two buttons: a white “launch” button and a red “cancel” button. The briefcase is activated by a special flashcard, according to Zvezda.

If Russia thought it faced a strategic nuclear attack, the president, via the briefcases, would send a direct launch order to general staff command and reserve command units which hold nuclear codes. Such orders cascade swiftly down different communications systems to strategic rocket force units which then fire at the United States and Europe.

If a nuclear attack were confirmed, Putin could activate the so-called “Dead Hand” or “Perimetr” system of last resort: essentially computers would decide doomsday. A control rocket would order nuclear strikes from across Russia’s vast armoury.

Babylon the Great must modernize her nukes: Daniel 7

Russia’s New START Breach Means U.S. Nuclear Weapons Modernization Is a Must

Feb 21, 2023 3 min read


Patty-Jane Geller

Senior Policy Analyst, Center for National Defense

Patty-Jane is a senior policy analyst for nuclear deterrence and missile defense at The Heritage Foundation.Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual meeting with the Federal Assembly on February 21, 2023, in Moscow, Russia. Contributor / Getty Images


Moscow once again has shown its total disregard for international security commitments. 

If Russia continues to ignore its obligations under New START, the U.S. will need to be prepared to compete in an environment without arms control.

Arms control is not an end in itself, and maintaining strong nuclear deterrence should remain the United States’ number one goal.

Russia is certainly consistent. It violated the INF Treaty. It violated the Open Skies Treaty. And now, the State Department reports, it is in non-compliance with the New START agreement—the very last arms control treaty in place. 

When U.S. President Joe Biden took office, he agreed to extend New START through 2026 despite its flaws. While New START limits the total number of warheads the U.S. and Russia can deploy on their strategic launchers, it does not limit Russia’s growing stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons, nor its new and novel capabilities such as nuclear-armed hypersonic weapons and the Poseidon underwater drone. 

Even with these advantages, Moscow once again has shown its total disregard for international security commitments. By failing to convene a Bilateral Consultative Commission—a forum to discuss issues related to treaty implementation—and refusing to allow required inspections of its nuclear forces, it leaves the State Department with no confidence that Moscow has remained within the New START limit of no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads throughout 2022.

This is an unacceptable state of affairs, one that puts U.S. national security at risk. If Russia can pick and choose which aspects of a treaty it can follow, it defeats the purpose of having a rules-based agreement.

It gets worse. While the State Department assessed that Russia did not go significantly over the treaty warhead limits, Russia’s non-compliance could be the first step toward a serious material violation. 

Russian non-compliance highlights the need for the U.S. to double down on its efforts to recapitalize its nuclear forces. The U.S. currently plans to deploy modern nuclear capabilities, like the Sentinel missile and Long Range Standoff weapon, around the end of the decade.

But if Russia continues to ignore its obligations under New START, the U.S. will need to be prepared to compete in an environment without arms control.

In particular, the Biden administration should work with Congress to identify ways to accelerate nuclear modernization timelines. This can include increasing funding for nuclear programs, including the nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile.

Last year, Congress appropriated just $45 million to continue research and development for the missile and its accompanying warhead. This year, Congress should provide at least $400 million to move this program into development and field it by the end of the decade.

Moreover, last year Congress required the Pentagon to consider assigning these nuclear programs a DX acquisition rating—designating them as highest-priority. Congress could take this further, mandating the DX rating and taking additional steps to separate nuclear modernization programs from the traditional cumbersome acquisition bureaucracy.

The White House should also work with Congress to identify ways to improve the flexibility and resilience of the U.S. nuclear enterprise in order to better hedge against a nuclear threat environment that—as demonstrated by Russia’s willingness to flout arms control—can rapidly change. 

It’s possible that Russia is refusing to comply with New START to punish the U.S. for its support of Ukraine. Or perhaps Moscow hopes to gain concessions in exchange for returning to compliance.

Or, it may be trying to gain an advantage over the United States in future negotiations for a follow-on agreement to New START.

Indeed, Russia has expressed its interest in both preserving New START and negotiating a follow-on agreement. But the U.S. should not budge an inch.

Instead, the administration should communicate that Russia’s continued unfaithfulness only makes it an increasingly unattractive partner for any arms control pact.

Arms control can certainly provide an important tool for maintaining nuclear stability, and the U.S. should reserve this option for times when it can contribute to national security. But arms control is not an end in itself, and maintaining strong nuclear deterrence should remain the United States’ number one goal.

Russia should understand that, as well