VLADIMIR Putin is tipped to announce he will seek another term in the Kremlin – as Russia taunts the West with a model of the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created.
The president, 71, is expected to confirm he will stand for re-election at an exhibition titled “Russia” showcasing his achievements.
ReutersA model of the Soviet-made thermonuclear bomb Tsar Bomba is on display in Moscow[/caption]
East2WestThe Tsar Bomba, detonated in the Arctic in 1961, is the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created and tested[/caption]
AFPPutin is tipped to announce he will stand for another six years as president at the ‘Russia’ exhibition[/caption]
On display at the exhibition, opening on Saturday, is a model of the notorious 50-megaton Tsar Bomba detonated in 1961.
Aptly nicknamed the “King of Bombs”, the city-destroyer was designed to show Soviet scientists had caught up with the US in destructive.
The infamous megabomb, capable of flattening a city and killing millions, has 3,300 times morethan the nuclear bomb that fell on Hiroshima.
Its unveiling coincides with Putin’s reported readiness to restart nuclear tests in the Arctic on archipelago Novaya Zemlya, where the Tsar AN602 thermonuclear aerial bomb was unleashed.
The president has already revoked Russia’s ratification of a 1996 treaty that banned the testing of nuclear weapons, and ordered his defence minister Sergei Shoigu to be ready to resume tests.
Shoigu visited the Arctic nuclear testing facilities in August.
Some have taken the display of the Cold War-era bomb at this week’s Russia exhibition as a signal of the country’s hostility to the West, which has demanded Putin refrain from restarting nuclear tests.
He also suspended Russia’s participation in the New START treaty on non-proliferation with the US.
Close aides of Putin want him to intimidate the Ukraine-supporting West with a jolt to the 1961 Tsar Bomba test which, according to its final report, allowed the design of a nuclear device “of practically unlimited power”.
Head of the Kurchatov nuclear institute and longtime friend of Putin’s, Mikhail Kovalchuk, said: “I think this is a correct idea.”
Others have urged Putin to unleash hypersonic nuclear weapons on Ukraine or the West.
UN chief Antonio Guterres has previously tried to persuade the tyrant to “step back from the brink” of nuclear conflict.
About 130 nuclear tests – including 88 atmospheric, three underwater, and 39 underground – were conducted on Novaya Zemlya between September 21, 1955 and October 24, 1990.
The shock wave from the Tsar Bomba circled the Earth three times and the nuclear mushroom rose above the stratosphere, with glass blown out in houses nearly 800km away.
Measurements show the blast yield was 50 megatons, equivalent to 50 million tons of TNT.
Speculation is intense that Putin will imminently announce he will seek a new six-year term in office in elections due in March 2024.
The Kremlin is currently hand-picking candidates who will be permitted to stand against Putin, giving the pretence of an open election.
Key opposition figures such as anti-corruption and anti-war campaigner Alexei Navalny are jailed for decades to come, while another, ex-deputy premier Boris Nemtsov, was assassinated.
Putin signed a law in April 2021 that would allow him to potentially stay in power until 2036.
He argued it was necessary to stop his lieutenants from looking for successors.
A vote in July 2020 included a provision allowing Putin to reset his two previous terms, meaning he could run for president twice more.
East2WestSome say Russia is taunting the West by displaying a model of the Tsar Bomba[/caption]
East2WestThe infamous Tsar Bomba has 3,300 times more energy than the nuclear bomb that fell on Hiroshima[/caption]
East2WestThe test detonation of 1961 reportedly saw cracked windows as far away as Norway and Finland, more than 1,000 miles from the blast site[/caption]Leave a comment