Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his Security Council to evaluate Russia’s readiness to survive a nuclear, biological, or chemical disaster. In addition, Putin also told them to stockpile protective equipment if necessary.
Putin gave specific orders during one of his regular meetings with the council – a group made up of the heads of Russia’s law enforcement, defense, and intelligence agencies. Newsweek reports, in addition to the Russian Security Council, Putin ordered his high-ranking ministers and the speaker of the Russian house of parliament, as well as permanent members of the group, to make sure protective equipment is available and working correctly, and if not, make the necessary adjustments.
Putin told the council that it was imperative to review and if necessary, strengthen Russia’s defense protocols against “nuclear, radiological, chemical, and biological threats, both in peacetime and — God forbid, of course — in wartime.”
Newsweek‘s coverage of the demands made by President Vladimir Putin included a statement about his ordered course of action.
“We have to analyze to what extent they correspond to the realities of today and, if the need arises, make the required revisions.”
Putin also proposed to the council that Russia should start developing and producing personal protective equipment against nuclear, biological, or chemical threats.
“In the near future we should set up an inventory of individual means of protection for citizens, to determine which of them have become theoretically and technically obsolete, and develop measures to replenish stocks of such assets in accordance with modern designs.”
During his public address, President Putin used the example of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan to express the need for a new defense buildup. The Russian President also cited that Moscow should be cautious and privy to the safety of nuclear power plants and businesses that handle toxic chemicals and make sure that they follow updated procedures in order to avoid accidents. According to Russia’ state nuclear agency, Rosatom, Russia has 10 nuclear power plants.
CNN’s article on the actions of Putin paint an entirely different picture concerning Putin’s desire to develop and produce nuclear, biological, and chemical protective gear for the Russian government and citizens.
According to CNN, on October 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he’s adding more nuclear missiles and is building a new generation of non-nuclear ones that could strike U.S. soil. Additionally, Russia’s military involvement in Syria, more than years after it annexed Crimea in Ukraine, could be viewed as aggressive, provocative, or simply military maneuvers.
In addition to the Russian military actions in Syria and Crimea, Russian submarines have triggered U.S. alarms as they approach undersea cables. A Russian warship was also sighted in waters off the U.S. East Coast, and this week, a Russian reconnaissance planes in the Pacific was flying too close to the USS Ronald Reagan — a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered super aircraft carrier in the service of the United States Navy.
CNN military analyst Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling suggests that Vladimir Putin is trying to build a “new Soviet Union,” a Cold War reference to Russia, by intervening in nearby countries and countries farther away.
According to Lt. Gen. Hertling, Putin is taking an offensive military stance.
“I think what we’re seeing right now is an attempt by Mr. Putin to go from the strategic defensive to the strategic offense, not only in Ukraine, not only in Syria, but other places like Moldova, threatening Poland, threatening the Baltic.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter stated that Russia is “a serious challenge” and said its “aggressions” are “a new reality for us.”
Mr. Carter accused Russia of undermining the sovereignty of neighboring countries and destabilizing European security by Russia’s military involvement in Crimea and Syria.
In addition to Ashton Carter and Lt. Gen. Hertling’s view of Russia, U.S. officials have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government of using its military to support Syrian ally and President Bashar al-Assad and targeting anti-regime rebels.
On one hand, perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin is simply being cautious and exercising realistic emergency preparation and prevention strategies by ordering the Russia’s Security Council to evaluate the country’s readiness to survive nuclear, biological, and chemical disasters. On the other hand, it’s quite possible there are other plans in the making.
[Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]