I guess I should expand upon my conclusion.
Noises have been coming from Russia recently and exaggerated in certain elements of the UK/US press that the Russians are preparing for nuclear war – or more accurately, preparing for the west to attack it.
Russia has continued to make threatening noises – recently moving nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad, testing nuclear-capable weapons, advising its citizens to be prepared in case of attack, large scale civil defence drills and large scale military drills.
This sabre-rattling is likely to be for two reasons:
Firstly to stop the west from getting involved in Syria.
We had our opportunity back in 2013 when Assad used chemical weapons. Then we chickened out – us first, Obama later. Some quite sensible options were possible that involved limited military action such as a no-fly zone.
3 years later, the Russians are heavily involved in not only shoring up Assad’s defence, but also actively attacking civilians in Aleppo, along with various war crimes including the bombing of hospitals.
Their posturing is partly to put us off from taking any action that may make their campaign more difficult – and more importantly, will put us directly on the opposite sides, on the battlefield, instead of this more opaque opposition at the moment.
Russia and the west have fought wars before, albeit proxy wars. Dozens of them – from Afghanistan to Vietman – the list is quite something. We should not be afraid of getting involved militarily in Syria.
Secondly, the threats are also to try to affect the outcome of the American ‘presidential’ election.
We know that the Russians have been hacking the democratic party’s e-mail accounts, however they do see it as being in their interest to have Donald Trump as president, rather than Hillary Clinton, who has a more interventionist outlook on world affairs.
One of Putin’s allies, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, was rather more to the point, stating “Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”
They won’t start nuclear war. Neither will Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump simply suits their aims.
One of the main goals of Putin is to undermine western liberal democracy, hence the desire for Brexit in the Kremlin, and their funding of various far-right parties throughout Europe, and this overt support for Donald Trump – who has been happy to express his affection in return. Why? Well the lack of liberal democracy in Russia is what keeps him in power – the further he can keep it away from Russia, the more secure he will be in his position.
The Russians should not be confused with the Kremlin. Your average Russian is quite wonderful – similar in culture and outlook to those of us in the UK. Just with years of brainwashing to hate the west. We should not hate the Russians. But we cannot trust Putin or the Kremlin, in the slightest.
So don’t worry if you read the headlines, Russia is not about to start a nuclear war with us – and we should not be afraid of standing up to the bully in Putin.