At the end of March this year, while delivering his annual address to the Belarusian Parliament, President Alexander Lukashenko suddenly declared: “Any use of nuclear weapons in Belarus is possible within the framework of the law, and the weapons will be controlled by the country’s authorities”. Lukashenko is known for not being a very good diplomat and has repeatedly said in public what other politicians will never say to the general public. So, the world has heard very clearly that Russia is not only moving some of its nuclear weapons to Belarus, but is also likely to give the country’s leader the right to dispose of them. And this news has come as a real shock to experts and political analysts, as well as to the public, which rightly fears nuclear war.
War is inevitable in any case
At the beginning of the nuclear weapons era, when their true destructive power became known and the size of the arsenals reached a level that would guarantee the destruction of human civilisation, mathematical modelling of the probability of war was carried out. More precisely, several attempts were made to determine, by mathematical analysis alone, how much time we have left before total annihilation. The most famous is the scenario put forward by the British scientist and science fiction author Snow in the 1960s, according to which the probability of a nuclear war within a decade was ‘a mathematical certainty’. Although this prediction proved too pessimistic, it gave other experts the opportunity to carry out calculations, and although they did not seem so frightening, the probability of a war within a century was successfully above 50%.
In 1985, when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was already in force and nuclear disarmament was even being actively discussed, US national security experts estimated the probability of war at between 1:100 and 1:10,000. Is that high or low? To make it easier to understand, consider a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in which researchers calculated the probability of being involved in an airplane crash at 1 in 8 000 000. By the way, the probability of being killed by a lightning strike is 1 in 600 000, so 1 in 10 000 is really bad news.
The global security system is crumbling
Unfortunately, the situation today is worse than it was in 1985, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been in force for more than half a century, since 1968, seems to be counting its last days, and if Lukashenko’s desire not only to have nuclear weapons on his territory, but also to control nuclear weapons, which is what many analysts are convinced of, is granted, then it will be possible to safely say – the global system of world security is dead.
Russia’s nuclear arsenal currently consists of some 1,600 nuclear devices on duty and nearly 3,000 more in storage. Moving a few dozen of them to Belarus is not a big problem, nor is training the local military to use such weapons. And the fact that they will be extensively trained has been confirmed by the Kremlin’s official spokesman, D. Peskov, in his statement of 3 April officially announcing the launch of the programme.
The bad news is that not only tactical but also strategic nuclear weapons may be heading to Belarus. On 14 April, the country’s official news agency BelTa published a statement by Belarusian Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin confirming that sites are being prepared to receive not only tactical but also strategic weapons.
A bad example is contagious
The mere threat of nuclear weapons by Russian and Belarusian officials was enough to make the other countries in the “nuclear” club stumble and, very unexpectedly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got involved in the nuclear rhetoric. At the beginning of March this year, in an interview with the Persian-language television channel Iran International, he said that if Iran was not prevented from enriching uranium and developing nuclear weapons, then ‘a terrible nuclear war is inevitable’. As a reminder, according to expert estimates, Israel may currently have around 90 nuclear warheads, and the worse news is that this country has in its military doctrine the possibility of pre-emptive strikes. Not only does it foresee it, but it is doing so with conventional weapons, and, incidentally, just at the beginning of March this year, as reported in The Times of Israel, the country’s leader held extremely active consultations with military and special services officials on the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. In addition, Israel has reportedly conveyed to the US through diplomatic channels that if the West does not get involved in the disarmament of Iran, the country will act on its own and without the support of its allies.
Another country that has in recent months increasingly shown signs of preparing for a possible nuclear war is North Korea. On 16 March, this country carried out tests of a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Also, according to analysts at the authoritative Foreign Affairs, we can expect a resumption of North Korea’s nuclear testing programme in the near future. Moreover, again, last month’s report on the North Korean nuclear programme by the Council of Europe, which was published in the European Commission’s press release. Kim, at a meeting with military leaders last year, stated the need to prepare for a ‘big war’.
Earlier, bad news also came from China, another member of the “nuclear club”. US intelligence chief William Burns, speaking at Georgetown University, confirmed that the CIA had received indisputable evidence that Chinese leader Xi Jinping had ordered the military leadership to “be prepared to launch a successful strike in 2027”. Of course, it is about the war against Taiwan. That such a war would involve not only conventional weapons but also nuclear weapons is a very real possibility, according to military experts.
Not just “nuclear club” countries
If we’ve already mentioned Taiwan, here’s something else to know. It is one of the countries that has all the technical, scientific and financial means to develop nuclear weapons on its own, and to do so in a very short time. And they are not the only ones.
First of all, there is a whole series of countries under the US nuclear umbrella, but increasingly talking about the possibility of their own nuclear weapons. First of all, there is South Korea, where the number of politicians saying so is growing, and the idea itself is becoming more and more popular among the public. Japan has also started to rebuild its defence capabilities rapidly, and here again the press is beginning to talk not just about building up the army, but also about having its own nuclear weapons, which was not possible a year or two ago. By the way, experts estimate that both these countries will be able to develop their own weapons in less than a decade if they wish.
There are at least 3 countries in Europe with the technology and resources to join the “nuclear club” – Italy and Germany, which already had its first nuclear weapons programme. The third, and do not be surprised, is Ukraine, whose industry and scientific institutions were integrated into the USSR’s nuclear weapons programmes, and which produced some components for Russian weapons, including nuclear weapons, until 2014.
There are a few more in the Americas and Africa, most notably PAR, which already had nuclear weapons but has given them up. Brazil and Argentina also had nuclear programmes before they joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
How much time do we have?
The issue is not that difficult and, as experts on global processes say, the likelihood of a major war using nuclear weapons is higher than ever. The spontaneous use of such a weapon in the current conflict in Ukraine is difficult to predict, but it could happen tomorrow, and in the context of geopolitical processes, we will be living in a context of an extremely high risk of nuclear war for at least the next 5 years.
Building a shelter is not difficult
Experts say it is not difficult to build a shelter where you can live safely for at least the first 5 days after a nuclear attack. If you already have a basement, you can upgrade it with an NBC air filtration system, for example. For individual and family shelters, the UK-made Castellex Air550 NBC air filtration system is the perfect choice, and it’s enough to protect you and your family from air contaminated by radioactive particles.
It is not technically difficult to build a shelter in a vacant area of the yard, even if there is no basement. The prefabricated structures are simply buried in the ground and also serve a very good protective function.
In both cases, it does not take too much time to set up a shelter. Here, converting a standard basement into a shelter can be done in just one day, just by sealing the room and, of course, already having an air filtration system. Therefore, it is necessary to purchase the equipment now, at least for the sake of your own peace of mind and the safety of your family, because unfortunately, with the deteriorating security situation, we do not know when that fateful day will come.
And when it does, the first rule that will apply is the rule of threes in survivalism, which says that a person can survive for 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, but only 3 minutes without air, but let us add here that the air must also be clean, and that is what the NBC air filtration system is designed to do.