27 October 2016

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Russia is telling people to prepare for war - ABC News

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, according to ABC News.


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, ABC News wrote. 

However, there are some unsettling things Russia has done to give the impression that war is looming, the report said. 

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, it is noted.

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.

Further, Russia's defense ministry has announced how the country would function in time of war, clarifying which government bodies would take command. 

The maneuvers took on harder forms as well. This week, Russia deployed nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad, its northern European enclave between Poland and Lithuania that put the weapons within striking distance of Western capitals. Moscow has threatened before to deploy the Iskander-M missiles to Kaliningrad, in response, it says, to the establishment of the U.S. anti-missile shield being erected in Eastern Europe. But this week's deployment came sooner than expected, with analysts suggesting that indicated the Kremlin wanted to play it as part of the broader saber-rattling display in the confrontation around Syria, ABC News writes. 

Russia also conducted a series of intercontinental ballistic missile tests this week, launching three missiles in a single day. 

Most Russians don’t take the war talk seriously, laughing off the idea on the street. Most take a more realistic view of whether there's actually need to find a bomb-shelter. A photo being shared on social media showed an apartment block in suburban Moscow where pranksters or enterprising fraudsters had posted a flier asking residents to donate cash to build a neighborhood bomb shelter, according to the report.

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