Wired Magazine has a great article on Russia's very real Doomsday device, code named “Perimeter.” In theory, the mechinism would allow the “dead hand” of the Soviet Union to retaliate against a surprise nuclear attack. And yes Kubrick fans, the real life Kremlin also kept it a secret.
"By guaranteeing that Moscow could hit back, Perimeter was actually designed to keep an overeager Soviet military or civilian leader from launching prematurely during a crisis."
Cold War aficionados will note that many of these details have been exposed over the last two decades. But the best part: “Dead Hand is still armed.”
By the way Lavrov, how are those START negotiations progressing?