Putin’s Nuclear Threats & Nuclear Horrors

Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, President Putin said he was moving his “deterrent forces” – meaning nuclear weapons – to “combat ready” status. This has raised fears that Moscow could use “tactical” nuclear weapons – not an all-out nuclear war, but still a dramatic development.

The man is demented to make such a threat. Let there be no misunderstanding that such weapons are too terrible to be allowed to exist, let alone that they are in the hands of people like Putin.

In a recent letter to the Economist, Ms. Setsuko Thurlow, a Survivor of Hiroshima who now lives in Canada, tells her story about that terrible morning:

I was a 13-year-old schoolgirl on the summer morning when a nuclear weapon detonated above Hiroshima. Trapped beneath the debris, I listened to my classmates call for their mothers while they burned alive. Later I walked through streets that had been transformed in a literal flash into something beyond nightmares. People staggered towards me, blackened, burnt and swollen, their skin hanging off them, begging for water, begging for help. But there was no water, there was no help.”

She continues, “Too often I read articles discussing nuclear weapons in abstract, analytical terms, as if they were chess pieces. I have dedicated my life to raising awareness of the terrible risks and appalling human consequences of nuclear weapons, as have many of my fellow survivors. But each year we grow fewer, our voices fainter. I hope your article will encourage younger readers to act and organise against these weapons, before it is too late.”

Photos from Wikipedia: Aerial view of Hiroshima and the Mitsubishi Steelworks after “Little Boy

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