Russian state-owned television is urging the country’s residents to stock their bunkers with water and basic foodstuffs because Moscow could go to war with Washington.
Warning that the potential conflict between the two superpowers would be “catastrophic,” an anchor for Russia’s Vesti 24 showed off shelves of food, recommending that people buy salt, oatmeal and other products that can last a long time on the shelves. Powdered milk lasts five years while sugar and rice can last up to eight years, the newscaster explained before showing videos of pasta cooking in a bomb shelter.
The channel’s newscasters also displayed charts explaining how much water people need to store for drinking, washing their face and hands, and preparing food every day—and how that amount changes depending on the temperature of a person’s bomb shelter. The program also recommended that people stock up on gas masks and read guides on how to survive a nuclear war.
Related: Russian warships put to sea from Syrian naval base (Fox News
Russian warships put to sea from Syrian naval base
The program aired just one day after sources told Newsweek that “there is a major war scare” in Moscow, as President Donald Trump prepares to strike Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons against civilians over the weekend. The Trump administration has said it believes Syria’s Russian-backed President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attacks, and it plans to ensure that Assad pays the price. Russian military forces have responded by saying that Moscow would meet fire with fire and said that it will shoot down any U.S. missiles.
“If there is a strike by the Americans, then the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” warned Alexander Zasypkin, Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, during an interview on Tuesday with a television station linked to Hezbollah.
The increasingly bellicose rhetoric has sparked fears that a conflict could break out between two nuclear-armed superpowers. On Wednesday morning, Trump took to Twitter to issue a stark warning to Russia, which he accused of partnering with “a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
But he later walked back the statement, calling for an end to the arms race with Russia. Newsweek
The destruction of humankind is one “impulsive tantrum away”, the Australian-founded winner of the Nobel peace prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, warned overnight on Sunday as the United States and North Korea exchange threats over Pyongyang’s nuclear testing regime.
“Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?” the Ican head, Beatrice Fihn, said in Oslo after receiving the peace prize on behalf of the anti-nuclear group.“The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away,” Fihn said. “[Nuclear weapons] are a madman’s gun held permanently to our temple.”
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated as Pyongyang has ramped up its missile and nuclear tests, and the accompanying political rhetoric has grown increasingly bombastic: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un taunted Donald Trump as a “dotard”, while the US president dubbed his rival “Little Rocket Man” and a “sick puppy”.
Ican led the campaign for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons that resulted in a UN treaty being adopted in July this year, under which states committed to never “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons”.
One hundred and twenty-three countries voted for the treaty at the UN general assembly in July. So far, 56 countries have signed up to it and three have ratified it. The ban treaty will come into force when 50 countries have signed and ratified it.
Ican was established in Melbourne in 2007. Its founding chair, Dr Tilman Ruff, associate professor at the Nossal institute for global health at the University of Melbourne, said in Oslo the Nobel was recognition for the millions of campaigners who had worked over decades for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
“That particularly includes the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – and victims of nuclear test explosions, including in Australia and the Pacific, whose painful personal testimonies have played such a crucial role.”
Australia has not supported nor signed the treaty.
But Ruff – who was also a member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War when that organisation won the peace prize in 1985 for its work highlighting the catastrophic health consequences of atomic war – urged Australia to follow the lead of New Zealand, Indonesia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific and sign and ratify the accord.
“Nuclear weapons pose an existential threat in any hands and the risks of nuclear war are as high now as they have ever been.
“Yet the current Australian government has done all it can to get in the way of efforts to end this existential threat to humanity.”
Australian government has maintained a longstanding opposition to a nuclear weapons ban treaty.
As a key plank of its foreign policy, Australia has consistently maintained that, as long as nuclear weapons exist, it must rely on the protection of the extended deterrent effect of the US’s nuclear arsenal, the second largest in the world.
Australia was a key agitator in preliminary meetings in trying to get the resolution establishing treaty negotiations defeated.
But the push for a treaty won massive global support, with 123 nations voting in favour, 38 opposing and 16 abstaining.
Australia joined the nuclear weapons states Russia, the US, Israel, France and the UK to vote against the resolution. China abstained.
The treaty will not offer a practical path to effective disarmament or enhanced security, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman told the Guardian during negotiations.
“Australia regards the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as the cornerstone of global non-proliferation and disarmament efforts.”
But the nuclear ban treaty has widespread community – and growing political – support.
A September poll by ReachTel found 73% of Australians support the ban on nuclear weapons and believe nuclear weapons pose a threat to global security.
Seventy-three parliamentarians – including 60 members of the Labor party, eight Greens, one Liberal and one National – have signed Ican’s global parliamentary pledge, which commits parliamentarians “to work for the signature and ratification of this landmark treaty by our respective countries”.
“We consider the abolition of nuclear weapons to be a global public good of the highest order and an essential step to promote the security and well-being of all peoples,” the pledge says.
The nuclear ban treaty is supported by the majority of the nations on earth but it has no backing from the nine known nuclear states – the US, China, France, Britain, Russia, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – which include the veto-wielding permanent five members of the security council.
Critics argue that a treaty cannot succeed without the participation of the states that possess nuclear weapons.
But proponents say a nuclear weapons ban will create moral suasion – in the vein of the cluster weapons ban and landmine conventions – for nuclear weapons states to disarm and establish an international norm prohibiting the development, possession and use of nuclear weapons.
Non-nuclear states have expressed increasing frustration with the sclerotic movement towards disarmament.
With nuclear weapons states modernising and in some cases increasing their arsenals, instead of discarding them, more states are becoming disenchanted with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and lending their support for an outright ban. (The Guardian)