Eric Schlosser has a fascinating and frightening article [World War Three, by Mistake] in the New Yorker which describes how close we came to accidental annihilation during the Cold War, and how close we are to it now.
When the US public see their military idiots prodding the bear by posturing around Europe and wingnuts like Senator John McCain describe Putin as “a thug, a bully, and a murderer” they might want to think about what will happen if things go wrong and they prod too much.
The photo below shows a Russian Voevoda R-36M2 missile being loaded into a silo somewhere in Russia. Each missile carries up to ten warheads and up to 40 penetration aids to overwhelm enemy defences. Russian missile technology is much superior to that of the US and their missiles have a greater throw weight than US missiles like the Minuteman. That technical superiority is why the US has to buy rocket engines from Russia.
There are at least 46 R-36M2 complexes. Probably the US knows where most of are and could destroy most of them in a first strike. I very much doubt if it knows where all of them are and could destroy them all. If even one or two of them got out of their silos the US would become a third world country with ten or twenty of its largest cities destroyed. Don’t worry though, US senators and military commanders would be safe underground when the warheads arrived. Nobody important would be harmed.
This post describes what would happen if a 800 kiloton warhead detonated over Manhattan.