Three point plan to get Russia ditching nukes as humanity ‘edges closer to Armageddon'

Vladimir Putin says threat of nuclear weapons is ‘growing’

While the threat of nuclear destruction has hit an all-time high according to a panel of Armageddon-predicting experts, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has unveiled a three-point plan to get Russia to ditch its lethal weapons of mass destruction once the war in Ukraine winds down. Despite repeated threats from Russia to unleash a nuclear attack amid the Russian invasion of its neighbouring country, Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN, told that the world can convince Russia to get rid of its 6,000-strong arsenal of nuclear warheads.

It comes after an expert panel from the Bulletin Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 90 seconds to midnight in the most sinister prediction since the clock’s creation in 1947.

The closer the time is midnight, the closer the scientists, who weigh up how close humanity is to existential disaster, suspect we are to an Armageddon scenario. They take into account threats like nuclear war and climate change to make their judgement.

While Ms Fihn agreed that tensions are high, she believed that progress can still be made.

She told “The Doomsday Clock is a very useful tool to showcase that we are edging closer to the use of nuclear weapons, but there are a lot of things we don’t know about the current situation.

“We don’t know what is going on in Putin’s mind or other leaders’ minds like Kim Jong Un or Xi Jinping. But we do know that the risk has certainly increased over the last year.

Putin and nuclear weapons

A campaigner has given the West a plan to convince Russia to get rid of its nuclear weapons (Image: Getty )

Doomsday Clock

The Doomsday Clock is used to represent how near experts think we are to Armageddon (Image: Getty )

“There have been these indirect threats by Russia to use nuclear weapons on many different occasions since the launch of the invasion of Ukraine in February last year, but we don’t know how serious they are.

“We just have to hope that he won’t use them, so it is very dangerous. And this is just one situation. There is also a lot of tension between North and South Korea, India and Pakistan, and China and Taiwan in the pacific. I can’t say that it is more dangerous than how it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but it is much more unpredictable because there are more nuclear-armed states rather than just two blocs.”

However, while Putin may have a terrifying arsenal of nuclear weapons, the world’s largest, the West has its own collection too. For instance, the UK has a stockpile of 225 nuclear warheads, while the US has around 5,550.

Western Governments refer to their stockpiles as nuclear deterrents, which are in possession to prevent foreign adversaries from using their own. But rather than limiting the threat , Ms Fihn argued that these weapons in fact make us “very vulnerable”.

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Nuclear arsenals

Russia has the largest nuclear stockpile (Image: Express)

She said: “It is becoming clear that nuclear weapons do not favour democracies. The weapon is meant to wipe out civilians and wipe out cities. We are seeing that kind of warfare from Russia right now with the use of indiscriminate bombings of civilians for example.

“Nobody can credibly say that it is more likely that the West would use nuclear weapons than Russia. So a lot of people are really recognising that this idea of deterrence is making us really vulnerable right now. This is not a strength, it is a disadvantage for us. We would be a lot better if Russia didn’t have lethal weapons.

“You could say that this is impossible, but we have come very close in the past. These very dangerous moments in history have actually led to really good progress.”

In fact, back in the 1960s, just five years after the Cuban Missile Crisis wound down, the world came together to negotiate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It came at a time that nuclear-armed states were expanding their arsenals in a rapidly changing world.

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Nuclear armageddon

‘The weapon is meant to wipe out civilians and wipe out cities’ (Image: Getty )

The treaty saw five nuclear states agree to eventually get rid of their weapons, seeing that no one else would develop them. Later in the 1980s, Mikhal Gorbachev, who was President of the Soviet Union, and US President Ronald Reagan, met twice to discuss nuclear disarmament.

Gorbachev offered complete disarmament by 2000, but the US said no. However, an 80 percent reduction of their nuclear arsenals was agreed, and a massive disarmament process took place.

But today, the threat of nuclear catastrophe still appears a very real possibility. Despite this, Ms Fihn remains hopeful. She laid out a three-point plan the world can use to get Russia to rid itself of the weapons that threaten to wipe out humanity once and for all.

She said: “We really need to start with the devaluation of nuclear weapons. As long as the West keeps saying that these are really important to us, it will just give power to Putin, Xi and so on. We need to move away from the rhetoric that they are important because that will remove their power. Putin will have no trump card to wave. Without nuclear weapons I’m not sure Russia would have been able to invade Ukraine.

Kim Jong-Un

There are also fears Kim Jong-Un could use a nuke (Image: Getty )

“There needs to be a concerted effort…where countries prohibit nuclear weapons and say that they are unacceptable. Even countries that have not taken a strong line against Russia like Brazil, South Africa and Kazakhstan. We need them to say nuclear weapons are unacceptable, which is working and is pushing Russia.

“Next, the G7 will meet in Hiroshima to have a summit and that will be an incredible opportunity for the leaders to take the moral high ground and tell Russia that they are ready to come to the table and negotiate. Any solution to the conflict needs that idea to be put out there, we need to negotiate.

“The final step is to use all the diplomatic pressure, such as all the sanctions that we have right now, and put them on the table and say that if Russia wants to re-enter the international community when the war ends and restart its economy, then we are going to negotiate nuclear disarmament.”

However, while the need to avert a nuclear catastrophe appears more urgent than ever before, Ms Fihn said it is not realistic to expect this to happen amid the war in Ukraine.

She said: “We are going to end the conflict. But the pressure has to start now. At some point, Putin will not be president of Russia and that will be an opportunity. I am not saying the next person will be better, but when there is a shift, there is an opportunity for someone to create an impression of something new.”