USGS Evidence Shows Power of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes
Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances

11/6/2012 8:30:00 AM

Earthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther—and over an area 20 times larger—than previous research has shown.

“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,”

said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”

This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.

This study also supports existing research showing that although earthquakes  are less frequent in the East, their damaging effects can extend over a much larger area as compared to the western United States.

The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude. Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.

“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”

It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history.

About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.

In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2

, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2

from an earthquake of similar magnitude.

“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”

The difference between seismic shaking in the East versus the West is due in part to the geologic structure and rock properties that allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening.

Learn more

about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake.

Russian Horn Warns Of “Full-Fledged Nuclear War: Revelation 16


Russia Warns Of “Full-Fledged Nuclear War” Over Ukraine

ByJack Buckby

A 2nd Bomb Wing B-52H Stratofortress taxis under a spray of water after returning from a mission July 12, 2014, at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. This marked the last flight for one crew member on the aircraft, Lt. Col. Ronald Polomoscanik, the 343rd Bomb Squadron director of operations, who is retiring after 23 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Greg Steele/Released)

Russia Reverts to Threatening West, Warns of “Catastrophic” Conflict

Deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev appeared to threaten Western countries in a Telegram post this week, warning of “catastrophic” conflict beyond Ukraine.

In the post, Medvedev complained that NATO countries were “pumping” Ukraine full of weapons and training troops to use Western equipment.

“Such a conflict always has the risk of turning into a full-fledged nuclear war,” the Kremlin official added. “This will be a catastrophic scenario for everyone.”

The comments come as the Ukrainian troops head to Germany to receive training to use new Western howitzers. The activity is expected to take as long as 40 days. It also comes as Russia faces the genuine possibility of Finland and Sweden being accepted as new members of NATO.

After the Kremlin put the nation’s tactical nuclear warheads on standby and repeated threats of the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons, a spokesperson from the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Moscow would not launch a nuclear attack in Ukraine.

Alexei Zaitsev told reports that tactical nuclear weapons are “not applicable to tasks in the special military operation.” Similar comments were made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier this year, who clarified Putin’s “existential threat” comments. Peskov insisted that the idea of an existential threat to Russia that would prompt the use of nuclear weapons is separate from the war in Ukraine.

Threats Arrive As Finland Asks for NATO Membership

Medvedev’s outburst came on the same day that Finnish leaders called for NATO membership for the country “without delay,” while Sweden still mulls over the decision.

It was initially expected that Finland and Sweden would make a decision together and announce those decisions jointly. Still, the direct call from Finland on Thursday suggests that the two countries may not see eye to eye on the matter.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday that they support joining the military alliance, defying threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin and expanding NATO territory eastwards towards Russia.


A B-52H Stratofortress is prepared for fight at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 25, 2021. The last B-52H built was delivered in Oct. 1962. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Wright)

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance,” the two leaders of Finland said, adding that they hope the next steps towards Finland officially applying for membership would take place in the next couple of days.

While nuclear war could still be quite some time off, Vladimir Putin warned earlier this year that he would deploy tactical nuclear weapons to the Baltic Sea if Finland or Sweden joined NATO.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.


The United States should prepare for a protracted conflict if China invades Taiwan, the war game suggests


RakeshMay 12, 2022

The year is 2027. China has invaded Taiwan and the wheels of total war have begun to turn.

“We will not let them survive the first attack from our military operations,” said one of the masterminds behind Beijing’s military strategy. “We will not let the Taiwanese president survive the first day.”

To achieve the rapid beheading of the Taiwanese government, China is throwing a broad network of destruction – even pre-emptive strikes on US bases in Japan and Guam. The United States responds by bombing Chinese ports, and Australia mobilizes forces against Beijing, while the worst fears of the United States and its allies unfold in the Asia-Pacific.

It may sound like a purely academic exercise, but in reality it is deadly serious.

These hypothetical military operations were planned by U.S. lawmakers, former Pentagon officials and China experts as part of a war game exercise that unfolded in NBC News’ Washington office in April. The teams spent about five hours on an exercise that for the Pentagon would typically take up to five days.

The purpose was to think through what a Chinese invasion of Taiwan might look like now that the world has had to navigate the initial fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The war game was organized in collaboration with the DC-based think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS). It took place amid growing concern among U.S. officials in several administrations and in capitals across Asia-Pacific about the possibility of China attacking Taiwan.

This week, the director of the National Intelligence Service, Avril Haines, said that “a central focus area” for US intelligence officials is the intention of Chinese President Xi Jinping for a forced takeover of Taiwan. “China would prefer a forced alliance that avoids armed conflict,” Haines told Congress. “At the same time, Beijing is ready to use military force if it decides it is necessary.”

The overall takeaway from the participants in the war game: If China invades Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific region will plunge into a broad, protracted war that could include direct attacks on the United States, including Hawaii and potentially the continental United States.

“Neither Beijing nor Washington is likely to have taken over after the first week of the conflict, suggesting that it would eventually become a protracted conflict,” CNAS experts said. “The war game showed how quickly the conflict can escalate, with China and the United States crossing red lines.”

According to the war game, this escalation could lead to China using a nuclear weapon, a step that US officials worry Russia could take in Ukraine. For China, the cause of a potential nuclear reaction is Beijing’s limited capacity to react with conventional weapons.

“New issues of Russian military strength also apply to China’s military,” CNAS wrote in its preliminary conclusion.

Also, as was the case with Russia, the war game found that the United States’ efforts to deter China from attacking Taiwan failed. It prompted war participants to outline a range of measures that Taiwan, as well as the United States and its allies, should take to strengthen a deterrent effort.

Bryce Barros, China's affairs analyst at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, joins the red team in a fake war game in which the United States and China fight over Taiwan, on
Bryce Barros, China’s affairs analyst at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, participates in a fake war game in which the United States and China fight over Taiwan, at the “Meet the Press Reports” in Washington on April 25.William B. Plowman / NBC

These include improvements to Taiwan’s military through better training of its forces and new investment in additional weapons.

One of the most important things the exercise illustrated was the difficulty of defending and helping Taiwan compared to US efforts in Ukraine. NATO, which has largely united in Ukraine’s defense, is stronger than alliances in the Indo-Pacific. And Ukraine’s geographical location makes it easier to help than Taiwan, a number of islands off the coast of China.

“With Ukraine, you have borders that you can move things across,” said retired Air Force General Mike Holmes. “Taiwan is far away.”

The United States’ decision not to officially recognize Taiwan as an independent nation unless its status changes peacefully has been a long-standing cornerstone of US-China relations.

However, the “one-China policy” has been tested in recent years, as China claims that Taiwan is its territory and can be taken by force, and it has stepped up its saber-rattling. Taiwan maintains that it is an independent, democratic country that has the right to defend itself.

For four decades, the United States has pursued a policy of “strategic ambiguity” toward Taiwan, which essentially keeps watch over whether Washington would intervene if China tried to take Taiwan by force, hoping to deter such a move. This attitude has been increasingly questioned by some US officials.

And while Washington has no formal ties with Taipei, the United States counts Taiwan among its best trading partners and is obligated to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons under the Taiwan Relations Act.

Another important part of the war game is, in fact, whether the United States should consider arming Taiwan prior to a potential war with China, because it would be incredibly difficult to get these weapons into the country after an invasion has begun.

The findings also include recommendations that the United States, Australia and Japan do more to improve their ability to respond quickly to an attack on Taiwan, and that the United States strengthen its bases in the region and acquire more long-range, precision-guided weapons and submarine capabilities.

All in all, according to CNAS ‘conclusion, everyone should prepare for a protracted, deadly conflict, not just a rapid invasion and takeover of the government.

Former Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy said the war game revealed the need for the United States and Taiwan to take steps now, such as “pre-deploying ammunition, getting Taiwanese ready, pre-positioning your armed forces, developing your payout bases.”

“If you have not spent years preparing for this,” Flournoy said, “then you will be behind the octopus all the way.”

Iraq Needs Antichrist to Make It One Nation

Iraq Needs Strong Leadership to Make It One Nation Under God

Iraq Needs Strong Leadership to Make It One Nation Under God

Saddam Hussein during his trial. (Iraq Special Tribunal-Pool/Getty Images)

By Rana Al SaadiThursday, 12 May 2022 10:02 AMCurrent | Bio | Archive

Why was Saddam executed on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, a holy holiday celebrated by all of Iraq and around the world marking the end of the Muslim holy month of fasting? Was this a way to show a new era and beginning for Iraq after decades of totalitarian rule and terror?

Traditions during this holiday are similar to holy holidays all across the globe. They includes families and friends dressing their best, gathering and praying together for unity and peace, giving sweets and gifts to children, and visiting extended family members.

The answer to why Saddam was executed on the holy day is complicated. In my opinion, it was a poor leadership decision by Muslim Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

While virtually all Iraqis supported the execution of the neurotic and genocidal former ruler, I don’t believe we should execute anyone on religious holidays, and instead usher in peace and unity on these days. These days should be exempt from killing, and should be cherished as days of remembrance, celebration of faith, and family.

In American we do not conduct executions on Easter, Christmas and other Judeo-Christian holidays. This is how it should be in all God-fearing nations, to honor and preserve holy days.

On the day of Saddam’s execution, the Iraqi government released an official video showing the former president being led to the gallows, ending after the hangman’s rope was placed over his head. A mobile phone video recording of the hanging showed him surrounded by a contingent of his countrymen jeering him in Arabic and praising the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as Saddam Hussein falls through the trap door of the gallows.

Saadam was Sunni, and the way the execution was handled and on the significant day was not the end of chaos, but the beginning of sectarianism and turmoil.

This execution occurred under the leadership of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. Maliki’s Dawa party has always been seen as an ally of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and the leader of Sadr Brigade who fought against coalition forces in Iraq. Many in Iraq see the Dawa party as a corrupt and a murderous party, which replaced one former dictator for another.

Reactions to Saddam’s rushed execution during a religious holiday varied. Some Iraqis were angry because they wanted Saddam convicted of additional crimes besides those for which he was executed, including alleged far worse crimes than the crimes against humanity of which he was convicted.

But would convicting Saddam of more crimes have comforted the many Iraqi families searching for their loved ones who disappeared in the middle of the night? I doubt it.

Some Iraqis, not to diminish Saddam’s crimes, were hoping for a more civil execution to dignify the Iraqi people. It was less about this criminal and more about bringing peace and comfort to Iraq.

The poorly planned and rushed execution of Saddam Hussein revealed the failure of new leadership under Al Maliki, and foreshadowed chaos for Iraq’s future.

A true leader strives to serve all people. Of course, it is impossible to please all people all the time. But, in retrospect, Prime Minister Maliki should have at least tried to show he was committed to the rule of law, due process and respect for the Iraqi people and their culture. Not vengeance!

Saddam’s execution could have been conducted in a way that honored the Iraqi people as a newly united, free nation — a people who had just endured a long-term dictatorship filled with murder, genocide, warfare, terror and who deserved their sovereignty restored rightfully and courageously.

To conduct a rushed and thug-style execution on the first day of Eid al-Fitr was a leadership mistake and did not display a new era of Iraq greatness.

Courage is God’s tribute to our well-being and empowers us to protect and glorify our dignity.

In any conflict resolution, a courageous leader tends to acknowledge the dignity of his country and the dignity of all of its people as well. To honor this acknowledgment, it is the responsibility of the leader to seek noble actions in order gradually to purify the process of peace restoration within his country, and among its enemies and allies alike — to be a leader like Mandela who did not seek vengeance, but peace.

To end chaos, we must not start in chaos!

For any courageous leader, the mission of peace will be clear, the purpose of any war will be dignified, and the leader will honor those who sacrifice their lives to protect their country.

I hope and pray for Iraqi leaders to have the courage to lead for the greatest good of all, not only for the cause of some. Iraqis look up to nations like America, which stands for the rule of law, dignity, honor and “We The People” above party.

Iraqis must not forget their past. They need a new era of strong and honorable leadership.

The Iraqi people need to model their future not on decades of dictatorship and sectarian separation, but on the hope of Making Iraq Great Again. The Iraqi people should learn from leadership mistakes both during and after Saddam’s murderous rule and preserve their heritage as one nation under God.

Rana Alsaadi is a refugee from Iraq and now a naturalized American citizen. Prior to co-founding PACEM Solutions International in Falls Church, Virginia, Mrs. Alsaadi held multiple Senior Executive positions and served with the U.S. Department of State as a Cultural Advisor and the U.S. Department of Defense as a Translator/Analyst in Iraq. Mrs. Alsaadi earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Baghdad University and her Executive Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University. Read Rana Al Saadi’s Reports — More Here.

Antichrist calls for death penalty for promoting Israeli normalization

An Iraqi protester lifts an anti-Israel placard during a rally to mark Al-Quds (Jerusalem) day on Baghdad's Aba Nawas Street on April 29, 2022.
Sabah ARAR / AFPAn Iraqi protester lifts an anti-Israel placard during a rally to mark Al-Quds (Jerusalem) day on Baghdad’s Aba Nawas Street on April 29, 2022.

Iraqis could face death penalty for promoting Israeli normalization

i24NEWSMay 12, 2022, 11:53 AM

Bill banning normalization of relations with Israel gets first reading in Iraqi parliament

Iraqis could face the death penalty or life imprisonment for promoting normalization with Israel according to a bill being discussed in parliament, The New Arab reports.

The Iraqi Council of Representatives on Wednesday held the first reading of the draft law banning normalization of ties with the Jewish state.

According to the bill’s text, all Iraqi officials are banned from establishing diplomatic relations with Israel or calling for normalization, including officials in the northern Kurdistan region.

In September, a conference advocating for Iraq to join the Abraham Accords was held in the Kurdistan region’s capital of Erbil that was attended by more than 300 Kurds, Sunnis and Shias.

Israel in 2020 established diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords peace initiative, with the later additions of Morocco and Sudan.

The anti-Israel bill was introduced by the bloc led by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr which won the most seats in parliamentary elections last October.

Al-Sadr called for his members to introduce the bill in a tweet on April 23

Hamas expands confrontation with Israel outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli soldiers and policemen gather at the scene by the body of a Palestinian man who was shot dead reportedly while attempting a knife attack at the Gitai Avisar Junction, west of the Jewish settlement of Ariel and south of Nablus, West Bank, Jan. 26, 2021.

Hamas expands confrontation with Israel to West Bank

In a rare move, Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting at a settlement in the West Bank, in a sign that the resistance may change tactics in its confrontations against Israel.

Israeli soldiers and policemen gather at the scene by the body of a Palestinian man who was shot dead reportedly while attempting a knife attack at the Gitai Avisar Junction, west of the Jewish settlement of Ariel and south of Nablus, West Bank, Jan. 26, 2021. – Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP via Getty Images

Ahmad Melhem

May 11, 2022

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, has claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting April 29 that killed an Israeli security guard in the Ariel settlement in the Salfit district in the northern West Bank.

In a May 2 statement, al-Qassam Brigades said the attack came in response to Israel’s “defiling and aggression of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” warning that it “will not be the last.”

The military wing further described the attack as “a qualitative operation that confused the enemy’s systems.”

Al-Qassam Brigades has rarely claimed responsibility for such attacks in the West Bank in recent years. The recent move could usher in security challenges to the Israeli army. In a May 2 statement, Hamas said that by claiming “full responsibility” for the attack, al-Qassam Brigades is launching “a new phase of resistance to the occupation in the West Bank” as a retaliation to Israel’s aggression of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Hamas’ political bureau member Mahmoud al-Zahar told Al-Monitor that al-Qassam Brigades had to affirm its responsibility for the attack to send clear warning messages to Israel that its policy of killings and continued aggression at Al-Aqsa Mosque would lead to further attacks.

Zahar said, “Al-Qassam Brigades is asserting that the Palestinians are defending their land and their sanctities. Israel’s threats to assassinate Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip are empty and worthless threats, since Israel would never announce beforehand an assassination attack. These threats are mere tactics. Israel carefully considers every step it takes for fear of the resistance’s response.”

Al-Qassam Brigades had refrained from claiming attacks in the West Bank in recent years for security considerations. It seems that several reasons could have pushed it to go public this time. Most notably, Israel arrested two Palestinian suspects linked to the deadly shooting in the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan, who could eventually confess of being assigned by Hamas to carry out the attack.

Zahar added, “The attack aims to confuse the Israeli security and political system. Al-Qassam Brigades’ threats to carry out other attacks imply that confrontations in the West Bank and within the Green Line (Israel) are likely to continue. The recent attack asserts Hamas’ commitment to fulfilling its threats and expanding its confrontation arenas and battlefields. It is as if Hamas wanted to say that rockets are no longer the only weapon and Gaza is not always the only battlefield.”

In the past, al-Qassam Brigades claimed few operations targeting Israelis in the West Bank. In August 2010, the group claimed an attack that killed four Israelis when Hamas gunmen opened fire on their car outside the Kiryat Arba settlement in the city of Hebron.

In February 2018, al-Qassam Brigades announced the death of one of its members, Ahmad Jarrar, who was the principal operative in the cell that perpetrated Rabbi Raziel Shevach ‘s murder near the settlement outpost of Havat Gilad, west of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank on Jan. 9 of the same year.

Military analyst and former PLO artillery unit commander Wasef Erekat told Al-Monitor that al-Qassam Brigades’ announcement of being behind the Ariel attack shows that the Palestinians can no longer bear the pressure being exerted on them by Israel.

“The current remarkable development is that Palestinian military groups are owning up operations that were previously labeled as individual operations,” he noted. “This worries and disturbs Israel, as it reflects an upgrade in the Palestinian resistance performance and the credibility of its warnings and red lines. Things, however, may escalate, culminating into wide-ranging popular and factional confrontation.”

Erekat commented on the possibility of channeling the current escalation from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip in light of the settlers’ demand to return to the policy of assassination and the threats of a military operation in the West Bank, similar to Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. He said, “The Israeli government, the decision-maker in this respect, is fragile and weak, and on the verge of collapsing at any moment. Fearing failure, it could escape forward and invoke national security to wage a full-scale confrontation, but it realizes that any military action comes with consequences and a high price.”

Most recently, on May 5, three people were killed and many others injured in a stabbing attack in the town of Elad inside the Green Line. At least two attackers wielding an ax or a knife stormed a park in the town as Israelis celebrated Independence Day.

The repeated attacks inside Israel prompted angry Israeli reactions, demanding retaliation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and a return to the policy of assassinations, specifically against Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar. Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir called for bombing Sinwar’s home, accusing him of inciting the attack in Elad during a speech he delivered in Gaza April 30.

Israeli media circulated a video from Sinwar’s speech, in an attempt to frame him as being responsible for the Elad attack. In his speech, Sinwar said, “Let everyone who has a rifle, ready it. And if you don’t have a rifle, ready your cleaver, ax or knife.”

Mustafa al-Sawaf, political analyst close to Hamas and former editor-in-chief of the local Felesteen newspaper, told Al-Monitor, “Al-Qassam Brigades’ claim of responsibility may mark the beginning of a new strategy against Israel in the West Bank through organized action. The next stage may witness similar operations.”

He ruled out, however, that these operations would trigger an offensive against the Gaza Strip. “The moment is not ripe for such a decision by the Israeli government, which is carefully weighing the repercussions of any confrontation in Gaza,” he argued.

Sawaf added, “Al-Qassam Brigades’ public announcement of carrying out the Ariel attack was made at the right moment according to a specific vision. Israel’s threats, whatever they may be, will not deter Hamas from carrying out other operations, whether they were organized or individual. One thing is proven, Israel cannot easily face the attacks of the resistance, which is not giving up.”

Russia’s Multiple Nuclear Horns: Daniel 7

Russia T-14

Putin Strikes Back: 5 Weapons Russia Could Use Next In Ukraine

ByBrent M. Eastwood

Russian Armata T-14 Tank Prototype from above.

Russia still has many weapons it could use to try and win the war in Ukraine: It is hard to believe, but after months of fighting Ukraine, the Russians have yet to use some of their most powerful weapons. Some of these arms are not likely to make an appearance on the battlefield any time soon, but they do give Russia a number of especially destructive options to fall back on. Tactical nuclear warheads come to mind, because Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened their use. Beyond that option, Russia does have a modern tank that is probably not ready for prime time; a land-attack cruise missile that is in reserve; a doomsday torpedo; and even a space weapon that could destroy American satellites by creating dangerous debris fields.

The Russians might grow so frustrated with their performance in Ukraine that they resort to using one of the estimated 2,000 tactical battlefield nuclear weapons they have in reserve. These could be delivered by Iskander land-attack missiles for dramatic effect. It is not clear what the U.S. or NATO response would be if the Russians did the unthinkable. A more likely scenario would be for the Russians to test a nuclear device in Kazakhstan. This would show the West that Putin means business.

Russia Tactical Nuclear Weapons

US Military B-61 nuclear weapon. Image Credit: US DOD.

Nuclear Torpedoes: A Black Sea Threat

Another nuclear-capable system is the Poseidon atomic torpedo. The Poseidon is 7 feet in diameter and 65 feet long, and it weighs 100 tons. It glides through the waves at an estimated speed of 70 knots. The Poseidon is larger than the U.S. Navy’s Mark 48 torpedo, which weighs 3,500 pounds. The nuclear warhead can be up to two megatons. The Poseidon is not supposed to enter service for another five years. If the war goes long, or if it eventually turns into a frozen conflict, this nuclear torpedo could threaten the port of Odessa.

Russia’s T-14 Armata Tank: Loaded with Features  

Russia is more likely to bring new tanks to the battlefield than they are to use tactical nuclear weapons. The T-14 Armata main battle tank has a fearsome reputation, but Russia just can’t get it to the front lines. Observers suspect that Western sanctions have made serial manufacturing of the T-14 impossible. If the tank reaches Ukraine, its unmanned turret would provide more survivability against anti-tank missiles such as the Javelin and NLAW that are wreaking havoc on Russian armor. The T-14 has a 125-mm smoothbore gun and an automated loader. The main gun is also designed to fire laser-guided missiles.

T-14 Armata

T-14 Armata. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russia T-14

Russian Armata T-14 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

T-14 Armata

Main battle tank T-14 object 148 on heavy unified tracked platform Armata.

Land Attack Cruise Missiles in Reserve

The Kh-555 air-launched land-attack cruise missile is perhaps in reserve. It might yet make an appearance. The Kh-555 entered service in 2004. It is a long-range standoff missile that is fired from the Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber. The Tu-160 can carry twelve Kh-555s. The missile’s 881-pound warhead can be high explosive, penetrating high explosive, or consist of submunitions. The cruise missile is guided by a GPS system. 

Russia Starts Space Wars

Speaking of GPS, Russia could take the fight into outer space and endanger the American spy satellites that are sending intelligence to the Ukrainians. In November 2021, the Russians launched a space weapon in what is known as a direct-ascent anti-satellite test. The weapon destroyed one of Russia’s old satellites. The idea is to create a dangerous cloud of space debris from the satellite destruction that could destroy American satellites. It is not clear how the U.S. Space Force would react, but the new service branch does have plans to eliminate space debris fields in the future.

The T-14 Armata and the Kh-555 air-launched cruise missile would probably not make an appreciable difference in Russia’s war against Ukraine. They could give the Russians more ways to stymie Ukrainian counterattacks such as those unfolding in the Donbas region and outside Kharkiv. Russia is not likely to use tactical, low-yield nuclear weapons and space arms systems unless they perceive an existential threat. But they do have these capabilities, and that is enough to give Ukraine and its allies pause as the war moves toward stalemate.

Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.