The 154-meter-long Russian nuclear submarine Orel (Eagle) is powered by two nuclear reactors. It can be compared to a Swedish submarine that is 60 meters long and is powered by diesel electric motors. It passed into the Baltic Sea in surface position through the Great Belt on Thursday, according to the Danish Defense Command. 

It is previously known that this submarine class (Oscar) can carry 24 long-range cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads and even nuclear weapons torpedoes.

- Russian submarines that may be armed with weapons of mass destruction in the Baltic Sea are a worrying development and a threat to Swedish security. Unfortunately, the Swedish government has still not written about the UN ban on nuclear weapons, which makes this kind of activity illegal, says Swedish Beatrice Fihn, head of the International Campaign for Nuclear Prohibition (ICAN), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2017.

A Russian Oscar II nuclear powered submarine has the capacity for 24 cruise robots and nuclear torpedoes. Photo: Air Transport Wing Aalborg

UN nuclear ban

Former Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (S) announced in July 2019 that Sweden will not accede to the UN Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This after the government investigated the issue and the referral authorities submitted comments.

- Experts and researchers agree, developments in Russia and the US are increasing the risk of nuclear war or accidents right now. If the government does not want to continue to have nuclear weapons around Swedish territory, one should immediately sign the ban on nuclear weapons, says Beatrice Fihn.

Ten times Hiroshima

According to data from the Total Defense Research Institute, FOI, the submarine can carry nuclear weapons torpedoes. The weakest is 15 kilotons, which can be compared to the Hiroshima bomb. The heaviest, at 200 kilotons, is more than ten times as much.

- A 15-kiloton bomb caused about 145,000 civilians to die in Hiroshima, says Beatrice Fihn.

"And just before the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima in a few weeks, just survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki warn of nuclear weapons and encourage governments to sign the ban on nuclear weapons," she replies.

Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist (S), through his press secretary, declined to comment that the Russian nuclear submarine is in the Baltic Sea.