How Russia Can Launch Nukes from Beyond the Grave


During the approximately 45 years of the Cold
War, America and the USSR spent endless amounts of time, a massive amount of brain power and
billions of dollars creating military technology with the intention of protecting their country
and destroying the other side. The USSR secretly created the ultimate weapon,
a weapon that could be deployed if the USSR was no more. In fact, the raison d’etre for this weapon
was to strike the US if the USSR had been cripped by a nuclear attack. Officially it was called Perimeter, but some
call it Mertvaya Ruka–Dead Hand. It’s Russia’s doomsday machine. When the 40th president of the US Ronald Reagan
was elected in 1981, he took a much harsher stance against the Soviet Union than previous
president Jimmy Carter. The new administration began implementing
tough tactics such as building up the US nuclear arsenal and holding US naval exercises close
to Soviet waters. In 1983, President Reagan publicly announced
that the US was going to develop the Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly known as Star
Wars, a shield of ground and space based lasers and nuclear weapons in space to defend against
Soviet strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. Previously the idea of MAD or mutually assured
destruction held both sides in check. After the actions taken and rhetoric spilled
by the Regan government the USSR became worried that the US was now willing to start a war. As a result they set out to build a weapon
that would allow them to strike the US even if the USSR had already been obliterated by
US nuclear bombs. No matter how widespread the US destruction
was, even if the government was wiped out and the communications infrastructure was
destroyed, the new weapon would ensure that Russia could strike back. Perimeter came online in 1985. Though some aspects of how Perimeter functions
are murky, here’s generally how the system works: First, Perimeter must be turned on
by a human. Generally, it would be activated by a high
ranking official of the military or the Russian government during a crisis. Once Perimeter is activated, the system begins
monitoring to determine if Russia has been hit by a nuclear weapon. The system gathers data from a variety of
sources, such as early detection systems and air pressure, atmospheric density, radioactivity
and seismic sensors scattered throughout Russia. The system performs four if/then propositions:
If it was turned on, it would attempt to discover if a nuclear weapon had hit Soviet soil. If it seemed like Russia had been hit, the
system would scan radio frequencies and communication network activity to see if normal transmissions
are happening, specifically checking to see if communication links to the war room of
the Soviet General Staff remained. If the war room’s communication network
was still running and a specified amount of time had passed without further indications
of attack, Perimeter would assume officials were still living who could order the counterattack
and shut down. However, if the communication links to the
General Staff were down, then Perimeter would deduce that Russia has suffered a severe nuclear
strike. Then the system bypasses layers of normal
command authority and immediately transfers launch authority to whoever is manning the
system at that time deep inside a protected underground bunker. Then the prerogative to press a button to
initiate a launch that will ultimately destroy the world would be on the shoulders of whoever
was on duty be it a junior officer or a high ranking official sent in during the crisis. Perimeter may also function as a dead man’s
switch and upon determination of apocalyptic destruction of Russia institute the launch
itself. Either way once trigger, the system launches
a commanding rocket from a special, protected silo. The rocket would be a 15P011 command missile
with a special 15B99 warhead that contains a radiation-hardened radio transmitter. The command missile would travel through Russia’s
airspace, transmitting command signals to override or replace all of the presumably
destroyed ground-based communications, to receiving devices on all surviving strategic
nuclear missiles in the former Soviet Union including submarine-based launchers. The rocket’s instructions would be to launch
a retaliatory strike at predetermined targets across the Northern Hemisphere. While the US built similar technologies, such
as creating the Emergency Rocket Communications System and developing seismic and radiation
sensors to monitor for nuclear explosions, the US chose not to integrate everything into
a single autonomous retaliatory system. Instead, for a significant part of the Cold
War, from 1961 to 1990 the US ran Operation Looking Glass, a 24/7 airborne command and
control center with the capacity and authority to communicate with missile silos and give
the launch order for retaliatory strikes if ground-based command centers were ever destroyed. The US feared accidents and complete reliance
on machinery. There is no coming back from a system such
as Perimeter making a mistake. While the Soviet Union was told about Looking
Glass by the US as a deterrent, the USSR kept Perimeter a secret for many years. In fact, much of the Soviet government wasn’t
told of the doomsday machine’s existence, including lead civilian arms negotiators. Justifications abound as to why the USSR kept
Perimeter a secret. Of course they didn’t want the US to attempt
to destroy it, but the main reasons seems to be that the Soviets built the weapon to
deter themselves. Since Perimeter offered assurance that the
Soviet Union could launch a counterattack no matter what, cooler heads could prevail
over impatient officials from launching prematurely during a crisis. Previously there were several nuclear false
alarms such as a flock of Canadian geese triggering the Distant Early Warning Line radar system
or a malfunctioning chip in a minicomputer erroneously generating a warning that Soviet
missiles had been launched at America. With revenge made certain through Perimeter,
if a signal was picked up that looked like a nuclear attack, officials could fully evaluate
and take their time instead of making split second decisions thereby avoiding a tragic
mistake. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the
break up of the Soviet Union, word of the Perimeter system began to slowly leak out. However, it wasn’t until 2009 when Wired
magazine published an article interviewing Colonel Valery E. Yarynich, one of Perimeter’s
creators that the machine became more widely known. Yarynich spent most of his career perfecting
various nuclear weapon systems. However, in his later years he became troubled
by building weapons of mass destruction. He came to believe the US and Russia should
share the secrets of command-and-control. He thought this would be the best method of
deterrence. So at possible risk to himself from the Russian
government, he told the world about Perimeter. Until his death at age 75 in 2012, Yarynich
continued to speak out on deterrence and advocated for taking missiles off launch-ready alert. Since then, the Russian government has rarely
mentioned Perimeter and refused to answer questions regarding the machine. Currently there’s a lot of discussion as
to whether the US and Russia are engaged in a new Cold War. Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential
election and its ongoing strategy of political warfare against the West via disinformation
campaigns, support for far-right political parties in Europe, and cyberattacks have helped
to cool American-Russian relations. The U.S. expelled 60 Russian diplomats in
response to Russian agents attempting a nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian intelligence
officer living in the UK. Congress has also forced the Trump administration
to impose more sanctions on Russian businesses and oligarchs. On February 1, 2019, citing Russian violations,
President Trump formally suspended the US from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces
[INF] Treaty, which banned the two nations’ short medium-range 310–620 mi (500–1,000
kilometers) and intermediate-range 620–3,420 mi (1,000–5,500 km) land-based ballistic
missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers. This treaty eliminated some 2,692 missiles. The U.S. and Russia own similar amounts of
nuclear warheads; together, these two countries possess over 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads. One day after the US suspended the treaty,
Russia also suspended the treaty. The US formally withdrew from the treaty on
August 2, 2019. In 2018 when President Trump first announced
withdrawal from the INF Treaty, Viktor Yesin who held several high ranking positions in
the Ministry of Defense including commanding Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces during the
1990s was interviewed by Zvezda, a Russian newspaper. Yesin said that if the US starts deploying
intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will contemplate adopting a doctrine of a
preemptive nuclear strike. He claimed that the Perimeter system was still
functioning and had in fact been improved. While his claims cannot be verified, both
the US and Russian have recently began to focus on modernizing their nuclear weapons
arsenals. Are the US and Russia are engaged in a new
Cold War? Why? Tell us in the comments! Now go watch “Is It Safe To Live in Russia!“
where we’ll tell you about things even crazier than a dead man’s switch! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. That's the advantage of being born in a 3rd world African country, let the big fish tear each other's guts and we can share the spoils, we will feed on their corpses or at least what's left

  2. I'd Have A Fail Safe Like This To,, And Carpet USA They Be Peppered… USA Is Going Down Permanently. It's What's Happening, The World Is Waking Up To USA, Even My American Friends Are Against There Government. Us British Waking Up Too To Our Zionist Terrorist Government.. Traitor Should Been Shot As A Spy For USA

  3. I don't understand why we would go through another cold war with Russia. Currently Russia seems to be a regional power but China is trying to be a global power and I think China is a bigger threat to the United states than Russia is. As for the foreign foe for the next war I don't know but I am split between Russia and China leaning more towards China.

  4. You forgot to mention the U.S withdrew from the treaty after numerous intelligence sources discovered Russia had continued to produce long and medium range missiles breaking the treaty.

  5. Are the US and Russia engaged in a new cold war? Yes. Why? Because western financial institutions, especially in the anglosphere, want to control Russia's enormous natural resources.

  6. As an american i feel we never stopped being in a cold war, just had it die down drastically. Needless to say those are two completely different things.

  7. Supporting "far right" parties? Right. It isn't them watching out for their own interests, because the democrats are nuts or anything.

  8. So…why do we need all of those nuclear weapons? Such a waste of rare resources that could be put towards generating electricity.

  9. 8:05 "Are we going at war?why? tell us in the comments." Holy sh#! cakes, being told that we are possibly in another cold war is always fun..

  10. What are the real and legitimate chances that there could be a nuclear attack anytime within the next 5 years (2020-2025)??

  11. So what you're saying is it's designed to attack after Russia is destroyed by US nukes. . .
    What will it be attacking with if everything was destroyed? Sure subs maybe but again the US can easily track and stop those also.

  12. So like all a country has to do is nuke Russia and America will also get nuked like some sort of “Buy 1 get 1 free” meal deal? I hope ze germans don’t find out about this

  13. I have no problem with Russia. The people in it are rather fun to talk to actually, since I generally don't have to watch my mouth as much around them. Their government tends to keep their head down, so I don't see them around in any news much (unless you count the 3 year long collusion conspiracy theory).

  14. I mean, building a defence shield blocling out any missiles is equally as terrifying. Russia doesnt like this as it give US leeway to do what they want, be it invading for oil and whatnot without fear of retaliation. This is why russia is developing weapons to pierce this shield even if their option seems more offensive its acturally to the service of balance so nobody stands at monopoly of being a threat. Building missile shields that are non-destructive does not make them less destruction, it just changes the rules of the game.

  15. The Russian dead hand is actually less about protecting Russia and more protecting Putin.
    The actual dead hand isn't a skynet so much as what is called a Fail Deadly instead of fail safe. A fail Deadly is a topsy turvy protocol where nuclear launch is automatic unless countermanded by the leader.
    Putin just gives each boomer sub Commander sealed orders they do not hear a constant all clear signal say every 24 hours.
    If Putin is assassinated or removed in a coup, and the override code isn't sent, the sub commanders open the envelope which is assuredly is a full preemptive nuclear strike order against the United States.

  16. It's name was/is Perimetr (their spelling). It's not fully automatic, it transfers final control to a man sitting in the middle of a mountain essentially.. it's quite similar to the US system. It's pretty likely the USA won the COld War by intentionally bankrupting the USSR thru the space race & the Arms race, so they were always the more proactive/aggressive.

Related Post