The blast – 4000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima – would create a fireball 40 miles across reaching from the ground to the edge of the space. It would be visible 500 miles away.
The Satan-2 is the most powerful nuclear weapon it is possible to make. Russian bomb-makers planned a 100Megaton monster but realised the blast would be so huge that half of it would take place pointlessly above the atmosphere in space.
Russia is planning a second live test of the Satan-2 in days – in defiance of world opinion and officials have warned Britain “not to threaten a nuclear power”.
The effects of a single Satan-2 (actually called an RS-28 Sarmat but re-named Satan-2 by NATO) on the UK would be nothing short of apocalyptic.
An air-burst bomb over Birmingham would immediately vaporise and incinerate everybody and everything in a 40 mile radius, obliterating Coventry, Wolverhampton and Nuneaton.
About two million people would die.
Buildings more than 70 miles away, as far as Liverpool, Sheffield, Nottingham, and Cardiff would be levelled by the blast wave.
A further 10-15 million could die.
Windows would shatter and roofs would be damaged as far away as London, Leeds, Norwich and Preston, causing serious injuries and further death. And the total damage would extend across an area from Bournemouth to Newcastle, with the number of injured casualties unknown.
After the blast there would be radioactive fall-out – which depending on the prevailing winds could spread radiation-sickness and cancer causing dust over millions more Brits, leaving huge swathes of the nation uninhabitable for generations.
Russia is the only nation on Earth to have built and detonated a 50 megaton bomb.
With chilling parallels to Vladimir Putin’s current sabre-rattling in defiance of world opinion, the bomb, known as The Tzar was commissioned by former premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev “to show the Americans what Russia was capable of”.
He called on the architect of the Soviet nuclear programme Andrei Sakharov.
Sakharov’s protégé Boris Altschuler said: “Kruschev wanted to show the Americans what the Soviet Union could do.
“We didn’t consider it a tool to kill anyone, we saw it as a tool designed to defend our country.”
When The Tzar bomb was detonated in 1961 the blast was so massive that seismologists across the world recorded a major earthquake on the remote Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya.
After the explosion Sakharov turned his back on nukes and became a peace campaigner.