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AP-NORC Poll: Rising number of Americans fear nuclear war with Russia

Russia’s war on Ukraine has most Americans concerned that the U.S. will be drawn directly into the conflict and could be targeted with nuclear weapons, with a new poll reflecting a level of anxiety similar to the Cold War era.

Close to half of Americans say they are very concerned that Russia would directly target the U.S. with nuclear weapons, and an additional 3 in 10 are somewhat concerned about that, according to the new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his country’s nuclear forces on high alert shortly after the Feb. 24 invasion.

Approximately 9 in 10 Americans are at least somewhat concerned that Putin might use a nuclear weapon against Ukraine, including about 6 in 10 who are very concerned.

“He is out of control, and I don’t think he really has concern for much of anything but what he wants,” said Robin Thompson, a retired researcher from Amherst, Massachusetts. “And he has nuclear weapons.”

Seventy-one percent of Americans say the invasion has increased the possibility of nuclear weapons being used anywhere in the world.

The poll was conducted prior to North Korea testing its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday but also shows 51% of Americans saying they are very concerned about the threat to the U.S. posed by North Korea’s nuclear program. An additional 29% expressed moderate concern.

Fear of nuclear war has been around for decades. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has published its “Doomsday Clock” since 1947, showing a theoretical countdown to nuclear annihilation. The latest update, in January, put the time at 100 seconds to midnight, remaining unchanged since 2020.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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