July 1, 2022

Doomsday Clock Update on Ukraine/Russia – Full Statement

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Doomsday Clock UPDATE: This is what 100 seconds to midnight looks like

The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board Condemns Russian Invasion of Ukraine; Doomsday Clock Time Unchanged as Group Continues to Monitor Developments

CHICAGO, IL — March 7, 2022 – In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Russian takeover of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board announced that the Clock will stay at 100 seconds to midnight—the closest humanity has ever been to self-destruction. The board is a select group of globally-recognized leaders who set the Doomsday Clock, and it recently convened to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.

Here’s the full statement:

In January 2022 the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight. At that time, we called out Ukraine as a potential flashpoint in an increasingly tense international security landscape. For many years, we and others have warned that the most likely way nuclear weapons might be used is through an unwanted or unintended escalation from a conventional conflict. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought this nightmare scenario to life, with Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening to elevate nuclear alert levels and even first use of nuclear weapons if NATO steps in to help Ukraine. This is what 100 seconds to midnight looks like.

The Science and Security Board condemns the illegal and dangerous invasion of Ukraine by Russia. We call on all countries to denounce Russia’s actions and Putin’s outrageous threats of nuclear use, and for Russia to withdraw its forces and live up to its 1994 pledge—made as part of the successful process of ensuring Ukraine did not gain control over the 1,900 nuclear weapons left on its territory when the Soviet Union dissolved—to fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Anything less is an affront to the rule of law and the principle of national self-determination. Anything less risks global catastrophe.

Today’s statement confirming the Doomsday Clock remains at 100 seconds to midnight falls on the heels of the annual Doomsday Clock time setting which took place on January 20, 2022. In January, on the 75th anniversary of the Doomsday Clock, the statement from the Science and Security Board warned: “the decision (to keep the clock at 100 seconds to midnight) does not, by any means, suggest that the international security situation has stabilized. On the contrary, the Clock remains the closest it has ever been to civilization-ending apocalypse because the world remains stuck in an extremely dangerous moment.’”

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Eugene Rabinowitch and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project. The scientists felt that they “could not remain aloof to the consequences of their work” and worked to inform the public and policymakers about man-made threats to human existence. The Bulletin was founded on the belief that because humans created these problems, we have the obligation and opportunity to fix them.

The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to convey how close humanity is to destroying itself. Designed by painter Martyl Langsdorf, the Clock has become an international symbol of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change and disruptive technologies. The Doomsday Clock is a symbol of danger, of hope, of caution, and of our responsibility to one another.

About the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists, the Bulletin equips the public, policymakers, and scientists with the information needed to reduce man-made threats to human existence. At its core, it is a media organization, posting free articles on its website and publishing a premium digital magazine. The Bulletin focuses on three main areas: nuclear risk, climate change and disruptive technologies. The Bulletin is also the nonprofit behind the iconic Doomsday Clock. Learn more at TheBulletin.org.

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