The Truth About Putin’s “Nuclear Football”

The Truth About Putin's

Putin’s “Nuclear Football” Is Confusing – But It’s His Most Powerful Weapon

( – There are certain things most nation’s leaders always have with them, such as their security personnel. But, for many nuclear-capable countries, these top officials also have a way of communicating with their top commanders and launching nuclear missiles should a war break out while they’re traveling. In the US, this high-tech briefcase is officially called the Presidential Emergency Satchel but is nicknamed the “Nuclear Football. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin has his own version of this device.

For decades, the leader of Russia has been followed around by a briefcase called the “Cheget” which allows the president to discuss military options with his top officials wherever they happen to be at the time. Russian State Media showed the interior of the briefcase to the world in 2019, shared here by Bulletin Atomic’s nonresident Senior Fellow Stephen Schwartz:

The interior of the briefcase has numerous buttons and launch codes, which when used properly could, in theory, launch some of Russia’s 5,977 nuclear warheads. However, it’s unknown how many of those missiles are actually operational, as they’re high-maintenance. Nevertheless, as Putin’s media team continues to show the suitcase following him wherever he goes, one has to wonder if he’s trying to send a message.

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