The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

The Russian Nuclear Rumour and DEFCON’s Response To It

In the early hours of May 3, 2023, an attack was made by two drones in Moscow.  Russia claimed this was an assassination attack by Ukraine against the Russian President.

After that, rumours started circulating that Russia was preparing a response and that nuclear weapons were being moved into position to possibly be used in an attack against Ukraine.

In the era of instant information, this rumour spread like wildfire.

Normally, this is usually debunked pretty quickly and the rumour subsides.  However, the claim was being made from Igor Sushko and Osechkin, a source that many (not everyone) consider to have at least some reputation of accuracy.  And it had an air of insider secret information that plays very well to the public perception of clandestine military activity.

Additionally, Russia was renewing calls for nuclear attacks on Ukraine in response to the assassination attempt and levelling buildings in Kyiv.  Couple this with the Ukraine president extending his stay out of the country and claims that the Russian president was in his bunker, all this led to a perfect storm of concern that maybe, possibly, something real was going on.

One of the missions of The DEFCON Warning System is not only to sound the warning bell when nuclear war is coming, but also to address inaccurate information when it pops its head up and catches the public attention.

So, we acknowledged the existence of the rumour and set about to determine its legitimacy.

We are currently evaluating rumours of nuclear movement in Russia.  Please remember that these are rumours only with no verification at the moment.

After doing due diligence, evaluating the source, checking for any kind of confirmation, and analyzing Russian history, tactics, and abilities, we determined that there was no validity to the claim being made.  We issued a statement to that fact, while also stating that we would continue to evaluate the situation.

We are unable to verify any claims of either Russian nuclear movements not [sic] a heightened state of nuclear alert in Russia.  We will continue to monitor the situation.

Rumours continued to flow and the Igor Sushko and Osechkin channels continued to put forward claims of possible nuclear activity by Russia.

As time wore on, however, even Osechkin apparently admitted it was not true and apologized.  Later, the Igor Sushko channel claimed they were all duped by a Russian misinformation campaign meant to discredit them.

The DEFCON Warning System did exactly what it was designed to do: Issue warnings so the public can be aware of what is going on and make their own evaluations as well as attempt to put down unsubstantiated claims of nuclear attack.

During this entire time, the DWS DEFCON level remained at Green, the lowest level.

There are those who complained that by acknowledging the rumour, we helped spread it.  Some even claim we were part of it.

Acknowledging a rumour doesn’t mean you created it.  It means you acknowledge it is out there.

Some claim we were fear-mongering when we posted that the rumour existed.  This is nonsense.  These same people would claim the Red Cross fear-mongers because they preach preparedness or that the Weather Service fear-mongers because they just said we might experience a heightened hurricane season.

Why some people don’t want the public to have information is beyond us.  Is it to “protect” the public from themselves?  Is it to gatekeep information?  Is it because they are the arbiters of what information the public should know?  Save us from these kinds of “parents”!

If these rumours happened to be actually true, wouldn’t you want to have known about it as early as possible?

We don’t post about every rumour out there.  Someone is claiming an imminent nuclear attack every day.  But when one gets this kind of traction, when it is scaring this many people, we need to be real, admit it is out there, and deal with it.

That is our mission, and we will continue to do it.

As a final note, some media outlets have claimed to have sent us inquiries about this incident.  To date, no media person (or claimed media person) has contacted us.

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.

© 2024 The DEFCON Warning System. Established 1984.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.