A November 2015 video broadcast of a high-level meeting of Russian military and defense industry officials gave viewers a peek at Russia’s ostensive plans for Status-6, an underwater nuclear drone to be armed with a high-yield thermonuclear warhead capable of radioactively contaminating vast coastal areas. The author’s analysis is that the video was staged to send an intimidating message to the West, and that the drone itself does not fit the Russian pattern of maintaining absolute, centralized control over nuclear weapons delivery. Nevertheless, the author considers the leaked video to be cause for concern, because it demonstrates a growing Russian willingness to make nuclear threats as a means to achieving political ends.
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