Raising Readiness Level of Russian Nuclear Weapons Increases Risk of Deadly Misunderstanding

Statement by Tara Drozdenko, Director, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Feb 27, 2022

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has elevated the alert level of the country’s nuclear forces.

Below is a statement by Dr. Tara Drozdenko, director of the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“The decision by Vladimir Putin to raise the readiness level of Russian nuclear weapons is a dangerous and unnecessary escalation of his country’s attack on Ukraine. It increases the risk of a miscalculation, miscommunication or misunderstanding by both Russia and the United States, with global consequences.

“The U.S. and NATO allies should resist further escalation.

“What is clear here is that the risk of nuclear use is too high. People are dying in Ukraine. Adding nuclear weapons to the mix will only make things worse. We condemn threats of nuclear use to coerce and bully other countries. We urge a return to diplomacy and an end to the violence against the people of Ukraine.”