Russia nuclear war: Experts say Putin’s Poseidon nuke COULD kill millions
A towering 1,000ft radioactive tsunami crashes into British shores pulverising everything in sight and reducing entire cities to desolate wastelands.
This is the chilling image conjured by Russia’s ranting propagandists as they boast of the devastating power of Putin’s most fearsome weapon – an underwater doomsday torpedo named Poseidon.
Since Putin invaded Ukraine, his propagandists have continued to threaten the UK with a nuclear holocaust – and the rhetoric has continued to escalate in recent months. Just yesterday, retired Russian general Yevgeny Buzhinsky urged Putin to launch Poseidon – still said to be in testing – that he said would destroy Britain.
And now, international military experts have warned that Putin’s underwater torpedo could indeed destroy the UK’s coastal cities, cause radioactive floods and kill millions of people in London.
While the experts deny Russia’s claims that Poseidon would result in such monstrously high 1,000ft waves – around the height of the Eiffel Tower – or that it would destroy the entire country, they say that the effects of such a nuclear strike would still be ‘devastating’.
If Russia launched the Poseidon from its ‘doomsday’ submarine and the torpedo exploded in the Thames estuary, for instance, a tidal wave would erupt from the water’s surface and destroy London, the academics say.
If Russia launched the Poseidon from its ‘doomsday’ submarine and the torpedo exploded in the Thames estuary, for instance, a tidal wave would erupt from the water’s surface and destroy London, experts say
While international military experts deny that the Poseidon would result in such monstrously high 1,000ft waves – around the height of the Eiffel Tower – or that it would destroy the entire country, they say that the effects of such a nuclear strike would still be ‘devastating’
‘If the Poseidon is armed a large megaton warhead it would undoubtedly cause damage,’ Professor Andrew Futter, a University of Leicester academic and nuclear weapons expert, tells MailOnline.
‘If a large nuclear device were detonated in or near that Thames estuary, the tide in the Thames could surge towards buildings and millions of people could potentially die in the blast. There would be a lot of damage. The reality is that a large megaton blast, even in the water, would be very destructive.
‘The immediate worry wouldn’t be about radiation because a huge number of people would killed by the blast, shockwave or burns, first.’
Futter added: ‘It’s possible that it would leave the Thames irradiated, but there’d be so few people left alive in central London that it wouldn’t really make a great deal of difference.’
Dr. Rod Thornton, a security expert at King’s College London, says that the Poseidon torpedo would ‘wipe out’ any cities close to the explosion, whether it be London or New York in the US.
Thornton says that if the Poseidon exploded just off the coast of south-east England, thousands of people along the coast could be killed from the nuclear explosion itself. He explains that the tidal wave would be bigger if Poseidon was launched in deeper waters.
Thornton says that if Russia launched the Poseidon from a submarine in the middle of the North Sea, it ‘would create a fairly ‘small’ tsunami’.
‘But the wave, if it it swamped London, would kill everyone there. It would wipe out the city,’ Thornton says. ‘And the same wave might kill everyone in all channel ports in the UK and France – and maybe even as far as Rotterdam.’
Last year, Russian propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov, a man often known as ‘Putin’s mouthpiece’, urged Putin to wipe the UK off the map with the Poseidon underwater drone while standing in front of a background graphic showing the UK being erased by a giant wave.
Just yesterday, retired Russian general Yevgeny Buzhinsky urged Putin to launch the Poseidon underwater drone (pictured) that he said would trigger a 1,000ft-high radioactive tsunami and destroy the whole of the UK
A clip emerged in 2019 showing the Poseidon – seen by military officials as a giant nuclear-capable torpedo – during a launch test
Footage shows military officials overseeing the test launch of Poseidon, which can supposedly be launched from a submarine
But while Putin’s propagandists have claimed the Poseidon would destroy the UK with 1,000ft waves the size of the Eiffel Tower, the military experts disagree.
‘It would have to be a phenomenally massive nuclear blast to create a tidal wave that would cover the whole UK. I just think physically that it just isn’t possible to do that,’ says Futter.
‘It would certainly move a large volume of water, though whether it though whether it would create a genuine tsunami on the scale we often see in the Pacific Ocean is improbable,’ James Rogers director of research at the Council on Geostrategy, tells MailOnline.
‘We would certainly see large movements of water locally – though that would probably be no less relevant than the heat and blast damage of the burst.’
Thornton explains that the Poseidon, which is made up a 65ft tube that is almost 6ft in diameter, would travel on a ‘doomsday’ Russian submarine to waters off the UK or US coastlines – a journey that would take a few days.
The torpedo would then be launched from the 30,000 Belgorod submarine and travel remotely towards the coastlines before detonating and causing a huge explosion.
The 184m (604ft) Belgorod submarine is the largest sub built in 30 years and is said to be able to be armed with six Poseidon nuclear torpedo drones.
The torpedo would then be launched from the 30,000 Belgorod submarine (pictured) and travel remotely towards the coastlines before detonating and causing a huge explosion
The Belgorod is an Oscar-II missile cruise submarine, which is modified to conduct covert missions and carry the large Poseidon nuclear torpedoes
What is known with certainty is that the Poseidon is the biggest torpedo ever built
The Poseidon’s tube is thought to contain a nuclear reactor theoretically giving the drone an unlimited range if travelling on a pre-set course to its target.
In order for an operator to control the drone, it would have to stay within range of some kind of control tower.
James Black, Assistant Director of Defence and Security at RAND Europe, says that the Poseidon could travel ‘undetected for extended periods’. ‘This introduces an added uncertainty to the West’s defence and deterrence planning.’
He agreed with the military experts in terms of the carnage that the Poseidon could cause.
‘It would be able to threaten coastal targets hundreds of thousands of miles from its launch point,’ Black says.
While the exact payload of the Poseidon is unknown, the size of the nuclear warhead seen in leaked designs suggests it could have a yield of up to 100 megatons.
That would make Poseidon roughly twice as powerful as the Tsar Bomba – the largest nuke ever created – which obliterated everything within a 60 mile radius when it was tested in 1961, shattering the windows of buildings up to 560 miles away.
However, Professor Futter says Russia has provided no evidence that Poseidon does have a 100 megaton warhead. He says it is more likely to have between a three to five megaton warhead, which is still large, but much smaller than Russia’s claims.
Futter says that Russia’s rhetoric surrounding nuclear weapons amid the Ukraine war is incredibly dangerous.
He says: ‘I think we are entering into one of the most dangerous periods, certainly one of the most dangerous periods in nuclear story for a generation, probably since the 1980s. I’ve seen the return of nuclear threats.
‘We’ve seen the return of the rhetoric surrounding nuclear threats, particularly around Ukraine. Some of that is political.
‘Some of that is the Putin regime trying to garner support and show it has strong nuclear weapons. Clearly, the nuclear threat has also been used to try and keep NATO and and other partners out directly out of the Ukraine war.
‘But you could argue it’s been not that successful because you know the Ukraine has been supplied tonnes and tonnes of kit, albeit with no direct intervention.’
He adds: ‘There is a real concern around this and around the kind of flippant way that some of these risks are used, given the potential destruction that might come from it.’