Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, gave a rare interview to a US outlet on HBO’s “Real Sports” where he made news for denying that homosexuals are humans, that they exist in his region, and that his government regularly detains or executes them, despite ample evidence to the contrary.
He also made a troubling comment about his country’s nuclear arsenal.
Kadyrov, known for his forceful style of speaking, said that “America is not really a strong enough state for us to regard it as an enemy of Russia, we have a strong government and are a nuclear state.”
“Even if our government was completely destroyed, our nuclear missiles would be automatically deployed. We will put the whole world on its knees and screw it from behind,” said Kadyrov.
As the New York Times points out, Russia has actually built a system that does what Kadyrov described, and it’s known as the Perimeter System. Essentially, in the case of a nuclear attack that destroys the government of Russia, or anything a 1970s-era system perceives as an attack, an automated system would empty Russia’s missile silos in a counter attack.
Dr. Bruce Blair, the former US nuclear officer who broke the story of the Perimeter System for the Times in 1993, told Business Insider that the system works when it detects nuclear explosions. Only a small crew located in a deep bunker play a hand in the otherwise totally automated system, according to Blair.
“One concern is that it’s highly automated and cyber attacks, for example, or other phenomenon, natural or man made, could set it off,” said Blair. “It poses a risk of accidental nuclear attack by Russia.”
“This was designed to retaliate massively against the US. What the specific targets are in this plan, no one really knows, but it can be safely assumed it’s large-scale” and would destroy the majority of Americans and most large US cities, said Blair.
The US requires the president to sign off on all nuclear strikes to avoid such catastrophes. If Washington were incapacitated by a nuclear strike, it’s unclear if the US could respond, as US nuclear weapons are code-locked and only the president has access to that information.
Moscow code-locks its weapons as well, but this system allows them to retaliate even after a nuclear decapitation.
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