While the media in the U.S. fill the airwaves with talk of a mythical collusion, the Russian Bear is growling about something far more deadly than tweets and Facebook. For the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed, a Russian leader has come close to declaring that the Cold War is still very much alive.
To complicate matters, in spite of Russia’s long history of saber-rattling, our mainstream media took advantage of the situation and quickly blamed President Trump. An article on NBCNEWS.com proclaimed – Putin’s bravado over Russian nukes is emboldened by Trump, analysts say.
This round of cold war talk began when Vladimir Putin announced at his annual state of the union address that his country has developed new intercontinental nuclear weapons that are impervious to U.S. anti-ballistic defenses. He went further to say that if necessary he would not hesitate to strike the U.S. with his nuclear arsenal.
Putin emphasized that Russia has “no plans to be an aggressor [but] we just protect our own interests.” Though he promised that Russia’s desire was to be “a guarantor of peace on our planet” he indicated that he would not hesitate to protect his country’s interest any way needed. He said:
“Our nuclear doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only in response to a nuclear attack or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against her or her allies, or a conventional attack against us that threatens the very existence of the state.” “It is my duty to state this: Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, be it small-scale, medium-scale or any other scale, will be treated as a nuclear attack on our country. The response will be instant and with all the relevant consequences.”
Putin was speaking in particular about Russia’s new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) the RS-28 Sarmat (labeled Satan-2 by NATO). Putin boasted the RS-28 Sarmat to be so “formidable” it “has practically no distance limits” and “none of the perspective anti-ballistic missile systems pose an obstacle to it.”
In a television address Putin pointed the finger at the West saying:
“I would like to tell those who have been trying to escalate the arms race for the past 15 years, gain unilateral advantages over Russia, and introduce unlawful restrictions and sanctions to hinder our country’s development … you have failed to contain Russia … No one listened to us, but you will listen to us now.”
When NBC News asked Putin about his strident rhetoric he responded, “My point of view is that the individuals that have said that a new Cold War has started are not analysts. They do propaganda.”
“If you were to speak about an arms race, then an arms race began exactly at the time and moment the U.S. opted out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,” he said.
Putin went on to tell NBC that if there is a new cold war it began in 2002 when the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. That pact was originally signed under Jimmy Carter in 1972.
Alexander Golts, a Moscow-based analyst, told The Washington Post that Putin’s speech should definitely be seen as “the start of a new Cold War.”
NBC News was quick to take the focus off of Putin and blame President Trump.
President Vladimir Putin’s assertion Thursday that Russia is testing a range of new nuclear-powered weaponry reveals a Kremlin that has become increasingly emboldened by the Trump administration and skilled at stoking East-West tensions, analysts say.
William Courtney, a former U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan and Georgia, said he’s not convinced by Putin’s boasting of Russia’s weaponry. Putin is approaching his fourth presidential election and understands what his countrymen want to hear. Courtney said:
Putin’s fire-breathing comments on nuclear forces were reminiscent of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s a half-century ago … Because Putin’s speech was postponed until just over two weeks prior to the March 18 presidential election, he likely had as one goal to appeal to his nationalist political base, and to some extent to a broader segment of Russians who would like to see Russia play a great power role or confront the West.
Sergey Radchenko, a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington reminds us that “Russia has had a history of thumbing its nose at the Western world.”
~ American Liberty Report