Vladimir Putin has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons at his fingertips, with Donald Trump just a hair’s breadth behind as the two sides square–up to one another over the Middle East.
Nuclear war between the US and Russia would turn the world into a wasteland and exterminate huge portions of mankind.
But the people living in these 30 cities would likely be some of the first to perish in nuclear infernos.
Daily Star Online can reveal the cities most likely to be targeted by Russia on the outbreak of World War 3.
FEMA simulations published throughout the Cold War predict these 30 cities will be among the first to be struck should nuclear armageddon erupt.
The US capital of Washington D.C. would be destroyed, along with famous cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Other large cities would be in the firing line, such as Detroit, Chicago, Denver and Seattle.
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Other small cities could be under threat, along with US military bases and nuclear missile silos dotted around the country.
Radioactive fallout would also be sent blowing across the US and into Mexico and Canada, poisoning and potentially killing thousands of others.
Russia’s nuclear attack on the US could involve anything between 500 and 2000 warheads.
And Putin has made big noise this year about his new weapon the Satan 2 nuclear missile, which he claims is unstoppable.
The biggest nuke ever tested by Russia is the devastating Tsar Bomba – with a maximum explosive yield of 100 megatons of TNT.
One of these nukes dropped on New York would kill more than eight million people.
And the fallout would stretch deep into New Jersey and Connecticut, engulfing Asbury Park and Stamford.
Luckily it was only tested once – not even at its full power – and was never placed into active service.
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Simulations of probable nuke targets were produced throughout the Cold War to better prepare them for how to respond to the threat of armageddon.
And just weeks ago the head of the UN said the Cold War is back “with a vengenace”.
Threats of nuclear war still loom large on planners’ minds, with FEMA last year running the drill Operation Gotham Shield.
Four days of exercises were carried out by military and emergency services to simulate a full–scale nuclear attack on New York.
Moscow’s row with Washington has exploded in recent weeks as Trump takes on “gas-killing animal” Syrian dictator Bashar al–Assad.
Putin is supporting Assad in the Syrian Civil War, which has been raging since 2011 when rebel groups tried to overthrow the regime.
Syria is accused of using chemical weapons against its own people, something that sparked joint US, UK and French airstrikes on April 14.
Russia and Assad deny any involvement in the attack, either claiming it was a complete hoax or staged by rebels – or shockingly Britain – to justify Western involvement in the Middle East.
Tensions remain over allegations of US election interference by Russia, the poisoning of MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Putin’s annexation of Crimea, and ongoing accusations of aggression between NATO and Russia in the Baltic.
Trump has talked up improving relations with Putin, but has also said there is “bad blood” between the two states.
The US President is expected to host the Russian leader in Washington later this year to help improve relations.
Daily Star Online previously revealed Russian nuke targets in Britain amid tensions with Putin.
Credit: Daily Star UK