The Soviet Union, after Stalin’s death in 1953, successfully detonated their first hydrogen bomb. While the first detonation took place the year of 1954, work on the weapon began years before the first Soviet atomic bomb was even detonated. Stalin put the testing of weapons and the acceleration of the Soviet Arms Race as a major priority in his time of rule, showing his determination to keep up with the advancing times. However, unlike the first Soviet atomic bomb which relied heavily on stolen information from the United States, the hydrogen bomb that was detonated in 1954 is of original Soviet design.
However, along with the creation of this new style of weapon, political fallout and popular unrest came with it. Many people, such as Georgii Malenkov the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, felt that the new weapon would invite in another world war. If another world war were to occur with the level of destruction capable by the new weapons that each side was capable of deploying, the term mutually assured destruction is given new meaning. Pretty much, the use of nuclear fission based weapons against each other would surely bring about an end to both sides, effectively killing each other off.
(I apologize for the use of simple URLs, but for whatever reason I could not get the pictures themselves to copy into the blog post).
The first picture in the link above shows many people protesting the advent of these newly established weapons. While they do a feat of incredible success in the weapons development and arms race standpoint, many people felt that these weapons would lead to nothing good, as a matter of fact for any nation. The second link shows a form of political cartoon showing an individual protesting the new weapons with a mushroom cloud rising in the background. As mentioned before, while these weapons may help stabilize the arms race and balance out power, they are utterly relentless when used for combat. May people did not feel safe with their inception, both civilians and political appointees. Song were also written and became centerpieces for propaganda against the use of nuclear weapons, such as “May There Always Be Sunshine,” composed by Lev Oshanin. Many other songs were written along with this one, all against the use and deployment of the destructive weapons.
The political fallout faced by the new weapon system was something that was kept quiet. Khrushchev and other party leaders would in fact not even acknowledge the situation in public, even though there was a great amount of disagreement among their usage. As mentioned before, while the weapons were able to balance the power throughout the world so to speak, the weapons themselves shouldn’t be used, and many people felt that way. MAD (mutually assured destruction) would have a serious effect to everyone who uses the new weapons, as the destruction wouldn’t be limited. In effect, the propaganda and all the anti-nuclear stances wish to avoid the possibility of MAD. While their creation was impressive, the use of the nuclear weapons is still disputed today.