resolved Jan 1
Will Russia detonate a nuclear weapon in 2022?

This question will resolve as YES if Russia detonates a nuclear weapon after October 3, 2022 and before January 1, 2023. Otherwise NO.

  • A test detonation would count towards question resolution.

  • Any of a deliberate, inadvertent, or accidental/unauthorised detonation would count towards question resolution.

  • Determination of whether a nuclear detonation was by Russia will be based on reliable media reporting.

See for a dashboard of other nuclear risk questions along with commentary and analysis.

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Jackbought Ṁ50 of NO

Most experts and strategists estimate that there are many reasons why Putin would stop short of using a nuclear weapon – among them the possible risk of radioactive fallout crossing into Russia or the fact that the use of a tactical nuclear weapon may not actually be a sensible strategic option in the war.

But the fact he’s pushed himself into a corner, along with his obliviousness to civilian loss of life underscored again by his callous assaults on Ukrainian cities this week, suggests that a humanitarian impulse is unlikely to be part of his calculation. And Biden himself said in the interview that while he believed Putin was a “rational actor,” he had made significant miscalculations and his objectives were not rational. That leaves open the possibility of even more decisions that appear irrational to the West but may seem reasonable in Putin’s warped logic.

That is why Biden and experts who have dedicated their careers to staving off a nuclear apocalypse say the possibility that Putin may go nuclear must be taken so seriously – even if the chances remain very low and the US would likely be able to detect well ahead of time if Russia’s atomic devices were on the move.

“It’s not a probable event. It’s not even likely,” said Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear non-proliferation expert and former president of the Plowshares Fund, said on CNN’s “Newsroom” on Tuesday.

“But this is a low probability, high consequence event. If he uses even one nuclear weapon, he’s bringing us into a whole new world. He’s causing massive damage. And he’s running the risk of escalation with exchanges from the West that could lead to further exchanges, et cetera.”