SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – A Russian video shows a simulation of nuclear weapons targeting not just the United State, but specifically the Tampa Bay region. In his annual State of Russia speech, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin claimed that the country has a new powerful, intercontinental ballistic missile that has unlimited range and is so fast it’s unstoppable.
"A lot of the things in the video are probably advances are making the Russians are making, as are we," professor of political science for the State College of Florida Danny Fuerstman says. "We just don’t put videos out about it."
The U.S. military did however put out a document about a month ago talking about an expansion in our nuclear program. That could be one of the many reasons that political experts speculate that Putin released that video.
"Then we also have this Russia investigation with Trump," political professor at New College Frank Alcock points out. "Putin will often throw curve-balls and just mess with Americans minds."
Another possible explanation is that Putin is up for re-election and wants Russians support.
"Rhetoric like that, videos like that, they go over very well in Russia," Alcock says.
If Russia did launch a nuclear weapon, analysts say Tampa would likely be a target because it’s home to a central command center: the MacDill Air Force Base.
"A lot of the things happening across the world, often the people pushing the buttons are sitting at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa," Alcock says.
However, experts say not to worry, that a nuclear attack is not likely.
"The world was really in a much worse place 40 years ago in terms of nuclear war, so I would say to people who are seeing that video of nuclear warheads right over our area, you are probably at a greater risk crossing 41 or driving on the interstate than you ever would be from a nuclear attack," Fuerstman says.
In terms of U.S. capabilities of stopping a nuclear weapon like the ones Putin describes, experts say we have some anti-ballistic military ability. If one or two were coming our way, political analysts are confident the U.S. could stop them. More than that would be a challenge.