Russian gamers compete to prevent nuclear ‘war’

In a room stylized as a Soviet-era nuclear bunker, a pair of Russians compete to prevent a catastrophic strike on the United States.

Their quest – Moscow’s latest craze – is to find the launch codes for nuclear weapons and deactivate the hidden red button that the crazed Russian general has already pressed.

This is complete fantasy; simply interactive game housed in a building in the city’s former industrial area, harking back to Cold War fears.

But given the current tensions with Russia, in which the question of a potential nuclear confrontation with the West has resurfaced, this is somewhat worrisome.

Crazy Russian general pressed the nuclear button - and gamers must stop the launch of missiles

“I’m worried because there is very stupid information coming from both sides,” said Maxim Motin, a Russian who just finished playing Red Button Quest.

“I know that normal people around the world do not want any war,” he added.

The nation is preparing for conflict

But Russian officials are preparing the country for the possibility of conflict by stoking deep-seated fears of confronting the West, Russia’s longtime Cold War rival.

Russian television broadcast mass exercises, which were attended by up to 40 million people across the country. According to the government, it is designed to prepare responses to a chemical or nuclear attack.

EMERCOM of Russia published a photo from the all-Russian exercises on civil defense

The video shows rescuers wearing hazmat suits and gas masks leading a civil defense rehearsal, the largest of its kind since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This suggests that the Kremlin wants Russians to take the threat of war very seriously.

Of course, a total conflict between Russia and the West is unlikely.

Analysts say the principle of Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD, still acts as a deterrent, as it did during the Cold War.

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But with tensions rising over Syria, Ukraine and the Baltics, analysts say the small risk of contact, misunderstanding and escalation between the nuclear superpowers has become very real.

“I don’t think a nuclear war is likely,” says Fyodor Lukyanov, the magazine’s editor. Russia in global politicswell-known foreign policy magazine.

“But when two nuclear superpowers operate with their war machines in the same area, very close to each other, and they don’t have proper coordination, anything unintended can happen,” he told CNN.

The Kremlin whips up fears

The Kremlin appears keen to play on that risk, as state television has ramped up its hardline rhetoric in recent weeks.

On his flagship current affairs show, Russia’s top state news anchor Dmitry Kiselyov, described by critics as the Kremlin’s top propagandist, recently issued a strong warning of a global war if Russian and US forces clash in Syria.

“Cruel behavior towards Russia can have nuclear aspects,” he said.

Russia and the US are moving from cold war to unpredictable conflict

The Russian Defense Ministry also released details of the latest intercontinental ballistic missile being added to its nuclear arsenal.

satan 2as you know, will be the most destructive weapon in the world, guaranteeing Russia’s place as the largest nuclear power.

This is an apocalyptic vision that adds even more realism to the fantasy quest played out by gamers in Moscow.

“I know that now in schools in Russia children are being told that our main enemy is the United States,” said Alisa Sokoleva, another Moscow-based gamer.

“But it seems ridiculous to me, and I am completely sure that war is impossible,” she adds.

Quest game players pretending to be a special forces unit are the only ones who can prevent the war.

Back in the fake Cold War bunker, Russian gamers cracked the launch codes and deactivated the missile launch. The United States appears to have once again been saved from this virtual Russian nuclear attack.

Let’s hope that the real world will also avoid such a confrontation.