Not my usual firearm post but something weapon related. Dead Hand is a nuclear control system used by the Russians as a deterrence. The system detects a combination of radioactive, seismologic, pressure and light variations to determine if a nuclear strike on Russian soil has occurred. This means that even if all of Russia’s chain of command were killed in a nuclear strike, Dead Hand would respond by launching most if not all of the Russians nuclear ICBM’s at preprogrammed targets.
Dead Hand is supposedly only activated during a potential crisis, possibly to avoid accidental launches if a Russian nuke were to explode by accident. Dead Hand is said to still be in use and receiving modern system upgrades. However, the exact nature of Dead Hand is not known. There is debate whether it is a fully autonomous system or if it does require at least 1 surviving person to issue the final launch command once all parameters have been met.