7 Ways Russia Is Telling People to Prepare for War
With tensions between Russia and the United States at their highest since the Cold War, there have been alarming signs coming out of Moscow that suggest the country is ready for war.
Almost no one believes the Kremlin is actually preparing for a military conflict with the United States. Most analysts instead see it as a show, intended to boost support at home and to deter Western countries from intervening militarily in Syria.
There are some unsettling things Russia has done, however, to give the impression that war is looming:
Beware the ‘Nuclear Dimensions'
As the confrontation between the United and Russia has worsened over Syria, and amid speculation Washington might launch airstrikes against Syrian government forces, Russian state-controlled media has gone into high gear, asking Russians whether they are prepared for nuclear war.
“If that should one day happen, each of you must know where the nearest bomb shelter is,” a report on the state-controlled network, NTV, noted, before taking viewers on a tour of a nuclear bunker in Moscow.
State outlets, already solidly anti-American in their coverage, have unleashed themselves further, indulging in bitter denunciations of America duplicity, bombastic promises of merciless defenses and freely bandying the nuclear card. Russia’s main current affairs show, hosted by a man known by critics as the country’s “propagandist-in-chief,” warned American "impudence" could take on “nuclear dimensions,” then spending 40 minutes taking viewers through a panoply of potential nuclear options Russia possesses if the United States were to intervene too strongly in Syria. The host, Evgeny Kiselyov, described how three Russian missile frigates this week had sailed toward Syria to head off potential U.S. airstrikes against Syrian military targets.
"Incidentally," Kiselyov told his audience, the ships missiles "also [come] in a nuclear version. Which version is aboard our missile frigates right now isn't known.”
Check Your Gas Masks
This month Russia held a large-scale civil defense drill across the country, meant to prepare people for disasters, among them nuclear catastrophe. The drill, which Russian authorities claimed affected 40 million people, and particularly the way it was presented on state television, resembled Soviet-era exercises, with scenes of schoolchildren flooding out in evacuations and being taught to hurriedly pull on gas masks.