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Drew Scanlon, a Youtube personality, and creator of the Cloth Map traveler series, recently came face to face with the launch console of a nuclear missile silo during one of his videos.
The encounter took place in a decommissioned bunker, formerly a Soviet interest in the Ukraine, which was finally closed as an active military operation in 2001. Since then it has been operating as a guided tour facility and is located near Pervomaysk, 300 km South of Kiev.
Nuclear launch bunkers are often portrayed in movies as having a big red button perhaps with some kind of warning emblazoned on top of it. In the Ukrainian base, however, there is no warning or even emphasis on what the button can do. In fact, it looks very similar to every other button on the console. Aside from the launch console much of the rest of the bunker is fairly mundane and unimpressive to the untrained eye, Soviet-era Russia being more focused on function than aesthetics.
The tour guide in the video says when the launch sequence is demonstrated:
“So now, you can start counting 22 minutes, and you’ve destroyed Washington DC, “
Of course, this wouldn’t be the only city to have been destroyed should a nuclear weapon have been launched. Once detected the launch of a single missile would undoubtedly have started a chain reaction of missiles being fired at all major targets by every world power in possession of nuclear weaponry.
Currently, the United States, Russia, the UK, France, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Israel all officially have nuclear weaponry, with several other countries suspected of having the technology. A launch from the Ukrainian site in the video, even during the cold war when this list would have been shorter, would have almost certainly spelled an end to the majority of the world population.
For those considering taking the tour, more details can be found here: https://www.tourkiev.com/tourtostrategic/
There are a number of similar tours available around the world, although perhaps none that have been as close to this one as being active. The relatively recent decommissioning of the site also displays technology similar to that of sites around the world that are still active.
Some of the other stereotypes for the launching of nuclear missiles do appear to be true. The bunker is equipped with enough food, medical supplies, and water to sustain life for 45 days. The console also required two separate keys to be turned to allow the launch to continue, and launch codes are given to the soldiers in the bunker by the Kremlin.
Inside the bunker:
The fact that the bunkers were equipped with only 45 days of food and supplies is also telling. This amount of time would allow for any retaliation orders from the government if the country were attacked first but wouldn’t last long enough for any nuclear fallout to die down to survivable levels if an attack were launched in the area.