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Although, this article was written three days after Russia invaded Ukraine, the situation is still rapidly unfolding. The world is holding its breath as one nation is threatening the other, a pushing back and forth between Russia and its allies and the West and its allies. Meanwhile, the civilians in Ukraine are suffering. What can we learn from their current SHTF situation in the days leading to the invasion and now? How concerned should we be?

I’m sure you’ll agree that the war in the Ukraine is hard to watch. Russia is making threats that goes beyond the Ukrainian borders.

President Valdimir Putin giving a news conference.

If the West fails to meet its security demands, Moscow could take measures like placing nuclear missiles close to the U.S. coastline, Russian officials have hinted.

The New York Times

By studying the chain of events prior to the invasion, we can get a glimpse of what could happen if the US become a target.

Cyberattack the Days Prior to the Invasion

In the weeks and days before the invasion, several Ukrainian government and bank websites received multiple attacks while the Russian troops were preparing for an imminent attack.

Of all the cyber incidents, though, the destructive data-wiping tool – known as “wiper” malware – had the potential to be the most impactful. Wiper malware typically deletes data from computers and renders them inoperable.

A cyberattack from Russia would likely target critical infrastructure such as the water supply, electricity and banking institutions. Although, a successful attack on the US would be minimal, thanks to the US’s defensive capabilities, the private sector may not be as prepared.

Risk of Cyberattacks

  • Be on high alert for fake texts or emails: Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. It’s always safer to enter the URL yourself than to click on a link or attachment.
  • Choose strong passwords: Passwords should be 12 to 15 characters long with including special characters or symbols. You should have different passwords on each of your online accounts.
  • Keep your antivirus software current: Most are set up to update automatically.
  • Use only trusted Wi-Fi resources: If using public Wi-Fi, make sure it is from a trusted business. When in doubt, use your own personal hotspot.
  • Don’t give out your personal information: Be weary of phone calls asking you to verify your information or fake emails asking for you to use your own login to view sensitive documents.
  • Check your credit regularly: Look for any suspicious or unauthorized activities and set up notification through your bank and credit cards.
  • Keep some cash at home: Since banking institutions can be disrupted, have cash in small bills as a backup.

Sheltering In Place

Although Russia claims it isn’t targeting civilians, Ukrainian officials said civilian populations have been, including an apartment building hit by a Russian missile in the town of Chuhuiv. City officials in Kyiv urged residents to take shelter, to stay away from windows and to take precautions to avoid flying debris or bullets.

In large cities like Kyiv, thousands of people headed to underground subway stations to take shelter from the military assault.

If you had to take shelter in an underground bunker, what will you need in your bug out bag?

Family taking shelter in a subway station in Kiev
Family taking shelter in a subway station in Kiev – Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters

Have A Dedicated Bug Out Bag When Evacuating

In Kiev, trains stations were swamped with thousands of residents trying to evacuate. To fit more people, train conductors were asking people to leave their luggage behind. In addition, many residents boarding the trains had no idea where they were being taken to. They had no control of their destinations.

A great number of those evacuating to nearby Poland had to abandon their vehicle and walk for hours to the border. Men of military age between the ages of 18-60 are unable to leave, so most of the evacuees are women and children traveling alone. I can imagine many of these mothers were not planning to carry their young children and their bags without the help of the men in their families.

If you had to unload your belongings, what would you keep? Having a dedicated bug out bag with essential supplies, you will have the minimum you need to survive.

Of the Americans who were able to evacuate, they did not need US military assistance. They already had their plans and had transportation available.

When the ‘handwriting is on the wall’ and there are tell-tale signs of a possible SHTF event, you need to already have a plan to get out. Don’t leave your escape to chance.

Threat of Nuclear Weapons

February 27, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s deterrence forces – which include nuclear arms – onto their highest state of alert.

Russia has an estimated stockpile of about 4,477 warheads meant for long-range launchers and shorter-range tactical nuclear weapons. Nearly 1,590 of which can be deployed on land-based missiles, submarine launched missiles and bombers. The stockpile, which is slightly larger than that of the United States, mainly serves as a deterrent against attack. Suddenly, the threat of nuclear war feels closer than it has in decades.

If a few nuclear warheads were detonated, the initial blast would kill tens of millions of people. The resulting dust cloud would cause a nuclear winter, destroying crops all over the planet and plunging billions into famine.

Severe ozone depletion from the nuclear smoke would suffer from increased exposure to damaging ultraviolet light. And who knows what the long term effect would be on the global weather.

In a future post, we will cover in more detail the effects of a nuclear detonation.

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How concerned are you about the possibility of a nuclear attack? Please share your comments below.

About Post Author


During the day, Ms. Williams is a compliance officer for a major insurance agency in Florida. In her free time she enjoys the great outdoors and share her passion for the adventures life has to offer. She now shares her passion for Emergency Preparedness, making it simple for everyone to start.
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