Russian MP warns nuclear strike would destroy UK in two minutes
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Russia has the world’s largest nuclear stockpile in the world, with 6,000 terrifying weapons in its arsenal. And amid the Ukraine war, fears Putin might press the red button have soared since he put his nuclear forces on “combat alert”. Several key Russian figures have even warned that the UK could be a target.
This includes Russian MP Yuri Shvytkin, who threatened that “if [Russia] have to”, the country would be ready to use its nuclear weapons and “destroy the whole of the UK in two minutes”.
And worryingly, there is a “superweapon” called the Kinzhal hypersonic missile that could be launched at the UK from an aircraft placed in the range of Britain.
Alex Lord, Eurasia analyst at intelligence firm Sibylline told Express.co.uk: “The Kinzhal is a sub-strategic air-launched hypersonic weapon, which in reality is little more than a modified variant of existing Iskandr ballistic missile systems.
“The missiles can allegedly reach Mach 10 and have a maximum range after launch of 2,000km.
“The missiles are launched by MiG-31Ks, a number of which were notably deployed to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad before the 24 February invasion – placing them in range of the UK.
“Of all the so-called modern ‘super weapons’, the Kinzhal is the only one to have been used in anger during the Ukraine war, with the Russian Ministry of Defence claiming numerous strikes against static military targets in Southern and Western Ukraine.
“While the Kinzhal is nuclear-capable, the missiles have so far been used as non-nuclear strike weapons in Ukraine.”
But this is just one out of six ‘superweapons’ that Putin has to choose from.
Another, the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), has been dubbed “Satan 2” by NATO.
It can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads and can travel at alarming speeds to reach targets in the US and Europe.
And the UK could be completely defenceless.
Professor Andrew Futter, an international relations expert at the University of Leicester, told Express.co.uk that the UK’s lack of defensive weaponry would leave the country extremely vulnerable if a strike was launched.
He said: “We don’t have the ability to intercept and destroy incoming Russian ballistic missiles.
“Since the early Cold War, the UK has effectively relied on deterrence because defence (either active missile defences or passive civil defence) are hugely expensive and in some cases unworkable.
“UK policy rests on the threat of nuclear retaliation after a strike.
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“No adversary would risk attacking the UK with nukes because they would be attacked with nukes in response.”
According to Prof Futter, the UK has not invested in active defensive technologies since the 1990s.
What the country does have is a continuous at-sea deterrent, which has been in place since the 1960s.
The Government called this “the most capable, resilient, and cost-effective platform”.
But the Government said: “The UK maintains only the minimum amount of destructive power needed to guarantee our deterrent remains credible and effective against the full range of state nuclear threats.
“Our submarines on patrol are at several days’ notice to fire and, since 1994, we do not target our missiles at any state.”
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