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What Will Russia Do?

Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com

Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com

Opeoluwa Obajolu and Tylyn Johnson

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On October 26 of 2016, Russia had a new nuclear weapon in its arsenal. On that Wednesday, the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau, one of the largest research and design centers in Russia for the development of rocket and space technology, had released images of the weapon, an RS-28 Sarmat Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) onto their website. This missile was given the nickname, “Satan 2.”

According to Russian state news outlet, Sputnik, who reported on the missile in May, this R2-28 Sarmat Rocket has been said to be capable of wiping out areas the size of Texas or France. The “Satan 2,” weighing about 100 tons, has a range of close to 7,000 miles. It is also able to carry up to about 15 warheads.

As stated by one of the makers, the Sarmat is designed to assist Russian forces in the fulfillment of nuclear deterrence tasks. “Deterrence” referred to the use of punishment as a threat to discourage people from offending. This follows the M.A.D., or Mutually Assured Destruction, military doctrine, wherein the use of nuclear weaponry guaranteed a followup nuclear attack that could potentially wipeout human civilization. And if not with immediate attacks, then with the possible “nuclear winter” that would follow.

Trump has taken to launching very publicized missile strikes on enemies of state, such as those on a Syrian military base following a chemical attack on civilians, or the “Mother of All Bombs” attack on ISIS in Afghanistan. While normally, this would not be too much of a problem, bar innocent casualties, there is nothing stopping Russia from reacting to these attacks negatively. After all, it is well-known that the United States and Russia have never been on the best of terms, especially with a Cold War having “ended” in only 1991 in the nations’ history. To put that in perspective, people born in 1991 would be 26 years old by now, meaning they could have just graduated college within the past few years.

One might caution against the nationalistic principles forwarded by Trump during his campaign. His presidential policies no longer reflect quite the agenda that he appeared to be all for at the time. After all, this world of ours is not America’s alone. People will react, whether if they are in the confines of the Midwestern states, to the dense cities of Japan, or even the colder climate of Russia.

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