Dr. Pavel Podvig: How likely is a nuclear war?

May 20, 2022
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Since the invasion of Ukraine, the outcome that nobody has wanted to contemplate is that of Russian nuclear escalation. Threats that “mirror moves” would be made by the Kremlin if NATO expanded, as we heard in last week’s interview with UN representative for Russia Dmitry Polyanskiy, suggest that a strike might not be out of the question. With Finland and Sweden seeking to join NATO, is nuclear war more likely now that it was three months ago? By trying to push Vladimir Putin to the brink, is the West actually increasing the chance of a nuclear incident? What actually is the sequence of events that would lead to nuclear conflict? 

These feel like questions we should probably know more about than we do.

To help us think through this difficult topic, UnHerd invited Dr. Pavel Podvig to the studio. Podvig is a senior researcher in the WMD programme at the Institute for Disarmament Research and a researcher with the programme on science and global security at Princeton University. He runs the world’s premier website dedicated to analysing Putin’s nuclear capability and edited the definitive encyclopaedia of Russian nuclear forces. 

Dr. Podvig joined Freddie Sayers live from his office in Geneva. 



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