The ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia pushed the Doomsday Clock to just 90 seconds to midnight – the closest point to cataclysm in history.

Herald of St Atomic scientistswho unveiled the updated watch on Tuesday, said the Russian-Ukrainian war played a decisive role in upsetting global stability.

“Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of conflict — by accident, intent or miscalculation — is a terrible risk,” the Bulletin writes. the statement said that “the likelihood that the conflict could spiral out of anyone’s control remains high.”

“We are indeed nearer to that end of the world,” ex President of Mongolia Elbegdorj Tsahia said on Tuesday during the annual announcement ranking of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. He and former Irish president Mary Robinson have joined academics to highlight what they see as a combination of several existential threats, chief among them the actions and words of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

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“People and scientists are warning us and we have to wake up now,” he said.

The Doomsday Clock is a symbol created at the start of the Cold War in 1947 to represent the threat of nuclear weapons, which the Bulletin says could destroy civilization as we know it.

The ballot moved the clock 10 seconds closer than last year, making it the closest to 12. It’s been 17 minutes since midnight since the end of the Cold War, but over the past few years the group has changed from counting minutes to midnight to counting seconds.

Last August, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world had entered “a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War.”

Siegfried Hecker, from left, Daniel Holtz, Sharon Squassoni, Mary Robinson and Elbegdorj Tsahia of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists remove the cloth covering the Doomsday Clock before a virtual press conference at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 24. , 2023 year.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“We are sending a message that the situation is becoming increasingly urgent,” Bulletin President Rachel Bronson said in an interactive message. “A crisis may be more likely to occur and have wider consequences and a longer-lasting effect.”

Emphasizing the large role of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in approaching the theoretical end of the world, the Bulletin said that it is also announcing the translation of the clock in Russian and Ukrainian for the first time.

Scientists and activists in the Bulletin’s announcement also mentioned China’s nuclear proliferation, Iran increasing its uranium enrichment, North Korea’s missile tests, future animal disease pandemics, pathogens from laboratory errors, “disruptive technologies” and worsening climate change in qualities of other existential threats. to humanity.

The bulletin called on the US, its NATO allies and Ukraine to explore all options for reducing the conflict with Russia.

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“Finding a path to serious peace negotiations can greatly reduce the risk of escalation,” the Bulletin said. “At this time of unprecedented global danger, concerted action is required and every second counts.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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