Kilotons, actually. I suspect that a 500-megaton airburst would wipe out a fairly large chunk of Russia.
I’m not buying this. WHERE are the pieces, and parts of an object that weighed so many tons! I think it was like a flat rock, that boys skip across ponds...and when it hit the atmosphere of the Earth, it skipped back into space! OR, there was some military experiment using high frequency SOUND WAVES to see how they could destroy a city instead of using explosives. This story doesn’t settle anything for me.
I expect 500 kt would have been more than sufficient to wipe out Chelyabinsk, if the explosion had not occurred so high up (altitude estimated at 16 to 19 miles). I wonder what the SIOP had allocated to it, back in the day.
Before the shock wave arrived, the Russians had time to observe the flash, which lasted some seconds, building to a peak, and go outside with their cameras and pan back and forth at the sky, chattering excitedly. Then crack! Windows shattered, doors blown in, car alarms set off, dogs barking. Some 1100 people sought medical attention.