On Tuesday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said that it has moved its metaphorical Doomsday Clock closer than ever to midnight which is the hypothetical hour of Armageddon.

It reflects experts’ assessment that humanity is confronting unprecedented threats to its existence, reported CNBC. The group’s leaders said that the 2023 countdown time was set at “90 seconds to midnight," and this new time was 10 seconds closer to “doomsday” than it was set to a year ago. The members of the group have been measuring real and existential threats to humankind for more than 70 years. The list of threats includes climate change and the prospects of nuclear war.

Dr. Rachel Bronson, President and Chief Executive of the bulletin, said that the point of the clock is to assess where humanity is, and "whether we are safer or at greater risk." She noted that as we move the clock closer to midnight, "we are sending a message that the situation is becoming more urgent.”

The group said that this year, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s thinly veiled threat to deploy nuclear weapons in the conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic raised the global threat to humanity. Dr. Steven Fetter, a professor at the University of Maryland and a nuclear-threat expert, said that Putin has given no sign that he is going "to accept defeat." He noted that even if nuclear use is avoided in Ukraine, the "war has challenged the nuclear order, the system of agreements and understandings" that had been constructed over 60 years to limit the dangers of nuclear weapons.

As for the Russia-Ukraine war, Al Jazeera reported that on Jan. 4 night, a section of tracks along the Trans-Siberian Railway in Krasnoyarsk region in Russia was blown up. The rail line that was destroyed was used by the Russian troops to transport supplies to Ukraine. An image and video clip of the explosion were posted on Telegram by BOAK, the Combat Organization of Anarcho-Communists.

Ukrainian intelligence said that this was the sixth such incident this month, after 40 during 2022. Such incidents suggested that anti-war resistance in Russia is just growing bolder. In Russia and Belarus, a secret network of activists is doing everything to slow down the Russian war machine. A BOAK representative said that the organization is not only against Putin and the war, but also against "Russian imperialism and against the existing capitalist system of oppression in general."

Meanwhile, an attempt was made to kill investigative journalist and anti-corruption activist Vladimir Osechkin, who has been living in France since 2015 after he fled Russia. Osechkin told CNN that in the last 10 years, he did a lot of things to protect the "human rights and other people." Osechkin, who now has full-time police protection, has become the champion of a growing number of high-level Russian officials defecting to the West. They are emboldened and disgruntled by the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. He said that former generals and intelligence agents are part of the list.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin
Russia's President Vladimir Putin takes part in events commemorating the anniversary of breaking the siege of Leningrad. Photo by: Reuters/SPUTNIK

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