The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos has claimed that NATO countries could be destroyed by Russia within half an hour in the event of a nuclear war.
Dmitry Rogozin, head of the agency, is renowned for his incendiary and provocative statements, which have only become more erratic since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. Over the weekend, for example, he has threatened Elon Musk.
"From the testimony of the captured commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, it turns out that the internet terminals of Elon Musk's Starlink satellite company were delivered to the militants of the Nazi Azov Battalion and the Ukrainian Marines to Mariupol by military helicopters," the Roscosmos head wrote on his Telegram account.
"Elon Musk, thus, is involved with supplying the fascist forces in Ukraine with military communications. And for this, Elon, you will be held accountable like an adult, no matter how much you'll play the fool."
Elon Musk responded to the threat, joking that "if I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya", though his mother's reaction was much less blasé.
Well, good news for anyone who wants to know what it feels like to be the world's richest man, because Rogozin also made a threat against billions of people located within NATO countries. In a Telegram post, the 50-year-old head of Roscosmos made claims that Russia could "destroy" these countries in less time than it takes the average Netflix user to select what to watch next.
"In a nuclear war, NATO countries will be destroyed by us in half an hour," Rogozin wrote, before explaining that this is not his desired option. "But we must not allow it, because the consequences of the exchange of nuclear strikes will affect the state of our Earth."
"Therefore, we will have to defeat this economically and militarily more powerful enemy by conventional military means," he added. "Such a victory is possible with the full solidarity of the entire country with the army, with the mobilization of the state economy, with the transfer of the military-industrial complex and related industrial sectors of Russia to a military footing. And this must be done immediately and quickly."
Rogozin is correct to claim that the effects of nuclear war would be devastating for the Earth. One study published in Environment Magazine in 2017 found that even a "small" scale nuclear war could trigger a "nuclear autumn". The researchers note that a previous study had found that a single nuclear blast sufficient to destroy an area such as Los Angeles would send 5.5 million tons of ash and soot into the stratosphere, blocking out sunlight, decreasing temperatures and rainfall (by up to 80 percent in some areas of the world), and having a significant effect on crop production for years to come.