Pasbanan-        Imagine if you had the power to press the button that would trigger a nuclear strike, knowing the destruction it would cause. One ordinary citizen almost had that option, although thankfully not quite to that extent. Drew Scanlon, a gamer and online star, was exploring a decommissioned nuclear base in Ukraine as part of his online YouTube travel series, Cloth Map.

After a walk down a dark tunnel, through narrow corridors full of pipes, and double-thick doors, the centre revealed some interesting secrets. The Ukraine base fell out of use back in 2001, and is now part of a tour operation. The equipment is therefore very well maintained. In the video below, tour guide Dmytro explains that there would have been enough food, water and medicine in the base to survive up to 45 days after a certain button had been pressed.

As they then enter a control room, the main room, Drew is told by his guide that they are now standing in the ‘room to destroy the world’. Drew takes a seat, is strapped in, and is told that, if this were real, he would get the codes from Moscow ready to activate the nuclear weapons. Two keys would be needed, turned at the same time, to begin the process.

The guide then explains that we are to forget any ideas of a ‘big red button’, like we see in the movies, instead showing that it’s actually a plain grey one – although at one time it certainly could have wiped out humanity on Earth. Once the button is pressed, a loud, deep, alarm noise is made – constantly. This is to tell us that it’s ready, a green light reveals that the launch has started, while another light, shown later, says that launch is accomplished.

“So now, you can start counting 22 minutes, and you’ve destroyed Washington DC,” the guide says. Scary stuff. The reality, of course, is that in another room somewhere, similar to the one witnessed, those buttons exist for real. With the turning of a couple of keys, nuclear weapons could be triggered.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump also found himself embroiled in a conversation about deadly nukes after an unfortunate typo. The President tweeted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”. The tweet was later removed but it didn’t stop the speculation as to what he meant, with some believing he’d just tweeted America’s nuclear codes.

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