Kremlin blames US and Nato for 'alarming' Doomsday Clock move closer to midnight

The Kremlin said the Doomsday Clock being pushed closer to midnight than ever before is a ‘really alarming’ situation.

The latest update of the clock – which symbolises how close humanity is to global annihilation by the distance of the hands from midnight – was announced on Tuesday.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year was repeatedly cited by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists as a major factor in its decision to push the minute hand forward by 10 seconds.

To make their point especially clear, the announcement was made in three languages: English, Russian and Ukrainian.

The Doomsday Clock now displays a time of 90 seconds to midnight.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: ‘The situation as a whole is really alarming.’

But he maintained the reason there is currently no prospect of a détente was ‘the line that was chosen by Nato under US leadership’.

He added: ‘This imposes on us a duty to be particularly careful, to be alert and to take appropriate measures.’

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which decides the position of the Doomsday Clock each year following discussions by top science and security experts, was explicit in its view that it was most concerned by Russia’s actions.

Rachel Bronson, the CEO of the Bulletin, said: ‘Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, intention or miscalculation is a terrible risk.

‘The possibilities that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high.’

She quoted UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, saying: ‘The world has entered a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War.’

As the war in Ukraine has drawn on, concern has risen over the likelihood of Russia using nuclear weapons in the field.

In a post on Telegram last week, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said: ‘The defeat of a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger a nuclear war.’

Medvedev, who serves as deputy chairman of Putin’s powerful security council, added: ‘Nuclear powers have never lost major conflicts on which their fate depends.’

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