According to a report by Newsweek magazine, the Pentagon is currently planning to develop a new nuclear bomb that has the potential to devastate central Moscow and cause the deaths of more than 300,000 of its 13 million inhabitants. The simulation, created through the Nukemap online tool, estimates that the bomb, known as the B61-13, would have a yield of 360 kilotons, making it 24 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.
If the bomb were to be detonated over Moscow, it is estimated that it would lead to the deaths of 311,480 people and injuries to up to 868,860 others. The publication also states that if the bomb were dropped on St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, the number of fatalities would reach 360,150.
The Pentagon announced last month that it would seek authorization from Congress to develop the new variant of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb. The potential destructive power of this bomb raises concerns about its implications for the ongoing tensions between Russia and NATO, particularly in light of the conflict in Ukraine. Experts, politicians, and the media have been discussing the risks of the conflict escalating into a nuclear war.
Russia has accused the United States of engaging in “nuclear brinkmanship” and of secretly violating arms control agreements. As a result, Russia recently revoked its ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Russian President Vladimir Putin argued that the treaty had become useless since it was never ratified by the US, which has been vocal about its opposition to the treaty’s ratification in Congress.
In a statement, the Kremlin criticized the US for its destructive position on the treaty, stating, “Among the states that have not ratified the treaty, the most destructive position is that of the US, which has for many years declared that there would be no support for ratifying the treaty in Congress.” However, Putin emphasized that Russia would not carry out nuclear tests unless the US were to do so first.
The potential consequences of the B61-13 bomb’s deployment are chilling. Newsweek reports that anything within a half-mile radius from the detonation site would be vaporized by a massive fireball. The blast would demolish buildings and likely kill everyone within a mile, while those within two miles of the site would succumb to radiation exposure within a month. Furthermore, 15% of survivors would later die of cancer, and many would suffer life-altering burns.
The development of such a powerful weapon raises questions about the future of nuclear warfare and the balance of power between nations. As tensions continue to rise between Russia and NATO, it becomes even more crucial to maintain open lines of communication and diplomatic channels to prevent the unthinkable from happening. The potential devastation caused by the B61-13 bomb serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts.