Putin’s Doomsday Machine

November 16, 2015
Jeffrey Lewis

The following is an excerpt of an article published November 12 by Foreign Policy.

Screenshot image from televised broadcast of Putin's speech courtesy of ArmsControlWonk.com
Screenshot image from televised broadcast of Putin’s speech courtesy of ArmsControlWonk.com

On November 9, President Vladimir Putin attended a meeting in Sochi on the state of the Russian defense industry. He gave a pretty boring speech about defeating U.S. missile defenses to some pretty bored-looking generals.

But there was one aspect of the event that was downright terrifying. Russian television cameras caught a page in a briefing book describing the development of a new nuclear weapons system called Status-6.

It’s nothing less than an underwater drone designed to carry a thermonuclear weapon into foreign ports. If detonated, Status-6 would be capable of dousing cities like New York in massive amounts of radioactive fallout.

At the risk of understating things, this project is […] crazy. It harkens back to the most absurd moments of the Cold War, when nuclear strategists followed the logic of deterrence over the cliff and into the abyss. For his part, Putin seems positively nostalgic.

Read the entire analysis of Putin’s Doomsday Machine over at ForeignPolicy.com, or peruse the community comments the image in question first solicited over at ArmsControlWonk.com.

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