Correspondent

Rocketchiki is the title of this film - the Russian word for the men with their hands on the nuclear keys. Cold War or no Cold War, they remain very much on duty, reports Vladimir Pozner.

'When the order comes to turn the key,' says a young missileer, 'I won't even spare a thought. I will carry it out at once.'

Pozner is inside Russia's largest missile base, a closed, privileged community of 20,000 people, where an air of confidence and martial efficiency prevails.

Beneath the surface, however, Pozner uncovers the reality of a military machine in crisis, with soldiers underpaid or unpaid and weapons and systems in decay.

Alarmingly, the risk of nuclear false alarms is increasing. When the order comes, it could be in response to a flock of birds.

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