The war in Ukraine shows the urgency of nuclear arms control
“It is either the end of nuclear weapons, or the end of us,” wrote 16 winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in an open letter in March that has since been signed by more than a million people.
BY SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN EDITORS | scientificamerican.com
Decades after the end of the cold war and mere months after the U.S., Russia and other members of the United Nations Security Council agreed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the specter of nuclear apocalypse again looms over humankind.
Western powers contemplating intervention in the war in Ukraine “must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history,” President Vladimir Putin warned in a not so veiled threat of nuclear retaliation on February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine. Days later he raised the alert levels of Russian nuclear forces.