Seizing on the news that Russia is currently engaged in a massive civil defense operation where some 40 million Russians will ultimately be involved in various drills, conspiracy theory and alarmist websites are presenting an annual Russian event as preparation for an imminent World War 3. But are any of the reports true, or are they just more examples of fear-inducing paranoia by a crowd that is in constant cry-wolf mode?
With all the World War 3 tension along Russia’s western and southwestern borders, not to mention the breakdown of cease-fire talks in the Syrian civil war, is there just cause to be wary of the mobilization of 40 million Russians?
As Snopes reported this week, the truth of the matter is that the massive Russian event involving just under one-third of the country’s entire population is, at least in part, prepping for a nuclear war, but it is also true that the civil defense exercises are also meant to ready the nation for responses to any type of national emergency, whether it be war or some catastrophic man-made or natural disaster.
Besides, it is not as if the civil defense exercises suddenly became a national imperative, something to worry about along with the Russian Federation’s recent emphasis on modernizing its nuclear arsenal and its increased number of military exercises over the past few years. No, Russia holds the national event on an annual basis, which is also why there has been no major coverage of 40 million Russians suddenly being mobilized to take part in paramilitary and first-responder operations.
To put it succinctly, as does Snopes.com, the Russians are just practicing.
As an example of the type of alarmist reporting being done, Express couched the civil defense drills thusly.
“Following a breakdown in communication between the USA and Russia, the Kremlin has now organized the huge emergency practice drill — either as a show of force or something more sinister.”
Of course, anytime 40 million Russians are mobilized, it is cause for concern in European capitals and in Washington, given all the saber-rattling being done by the Russian Federation and the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries of late. Russia, after embarking on an overhaul of its nuclear weapons arsenal, has engaged in hundreds of military exercises and drills in the past several years, not to mention its aggressive maneuverings with the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its subsequent marginal — but worrisome — incursions into Ukraine, not to mention the constant threat of invasion as it has amassed thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border (as reported by the Inquisitr). At the same time, the United States just recently announced (also covered by the Inquisitr) that it would begin modernizing, refurbishing, and replacing its nuclear arsenal as well.
And then there are the dire warnings of ill-preparedness coming from Western military officials which build on the fears that an increasingly aggressive Russia and its military cannot be contained. As was reported by the Inquisitr, retired NATO Supreme Allied Commander Philip Breedlove warned the mutual defense organization that it was not prepared for a Russian invasion of Europe and that a military blitz from the east could overwhelm the continent and leave it helpless at the mercy of Russia. Worse, given the Russian military’s air and naval superiority, the invaders could cordon off Europe from its allies and much-needed supplies and reinforcements from the Americas.
In a separate Inquisitr report on the American modernization of its nuclear weapons systems, new Strategic Command Commander Gen. John Hyten announced that the U.S. is currently moving to upgrade its electronic and satellite defense systems to match and keep pace with nations like Russia and China in readiness for a possible confrontation in space.
And none of this considers the constant tough talk coming out of Moscow.
All of the rhetoric and the preparedness drills and plans, when taken in accumulation and out of context, would place the current civil defense drills in Russia and the mobilization of 40 million Russians in the process as something to worry about. However, given that it is an annual event and was announced by Russia’s own Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM), the event warrants close observation by the West but is hardly worthy of drumming up unnecessary fears of an impending World War 3.
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