Analysts Warn of ‘Nuclear Apocalypse’ Risk Over Ukraine


 

Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s commitment to regime change in Ukraine carries a significant risk of nuclear annihilation, according to a new report.

Analysts at BCA Research believe Putin is past the point of no return in his invasion of Russia’s neighbour and even if he succeeds the resulting insurgency will drain Russian resources.

“Although there is a huge margin of error around any estimate, subjectively, we would assign an uncomfortably high 10% chance of a civilisation-ending global nuclear war over the next 12 months,” a BCA team led by chief global strategist Peter Berezin concluded.

Even military success for Putin is likely to bring continued sanctions, and “this will lead to a further deterioration in Russian living standards and growing domestic discontent”, the report said.

While Russian forces took over Europe’s largest nuclear power plant on Friday after subjecting it to rocket and small arms fire, BCA noted that the Putin regime has already used nuclear weapons of a sort in the past.

 

Radioactive Substance

Russia’s secret service, FSB, was likely to have orchestrated the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210 in 2006, leaving traces of the radioactive substance scattered in dozens of places across London.

As former US presidential adviser and Putin biographer Fiona Hill said in a recent interview with Politico, “Every time you think, ‘No, he wouldn’t, would he,’ well, yes, he would.”

Even if World War III is ultimately averted, markets could face a “freakout moment” over the next few weeks, similar to what happened at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

BCA did offer some reassurance, advising that despite the risk of nuclear war investors should remain “constructive” on stocks over the next 12 months.

“Thus, from a purely financial perspective, you should largely ignore existential risk, even if you do care about it greatly from a personal perspective,” the report said.

However, BCA cautioned: “If an intercontinental ballistic missile is heading your way, the size and composition of your portfolio becomes irrelevant.”

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.