The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised fears among the public about the use of nuclear weapons in Europe or against the United States. This level of concern has not been seen since the end of the Cold War.
NATO countries have been taken aback by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s implied threats to use nuclear weapons against “whoever interferes with us” in Ukraine, and his placement of additional nuclear officers on shifts under a “special regime of combat duty.”
Both Russia and the U.S. have thousands of nuclear weapons, most of which are five or more times more powerful than the atomic bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. These include about 1,600 weapons on standby on each side that are capable of hitting targets across the globe.