Fears of World War 3 starting at any moment have gotten so bad that even Russian officials are stockpiling necessities and advising others to do the same — in case there is a nuclear war. In fact, while NATO and Western leaders talk excitedly about a possible invasion of Europe by an aggressive Russia, many in that country believe that an attack might be coming from the West. One Russian official even thinks that a nuclear war might break out between the United States and Russia before the American presidential election.
The Daily Beast reported this week that at least one Russian official believes tensions between the United States and Russia are so heightened that it would take very little to set off a major military altercation. Sergei Markov, a member of the Civic Chamber (a government oversight and consultative institution in Moscow), fears World War 3 might start soon.
“These are the most serious tensions between Moscow and Washington in decades. The war might begin even before the November elections in the U.S.”
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Markov said he is getting prepared. “I personally plan to stock 200 cans of pork to be ready for a potential war crisis, and I advise everybody to do the same.”
Duma Deputy Vadim Dengin also expressed concern, but he was hopeful that there would not be a war with the United States. “I cannot understand why the West cannot just leave us in peace, let us be,” he said. “Americans should realize that it will be their children looking for shelters, too, if they are serious about attacking Russia.”
Russia has engaged in hundreds of military drills in the past five years, claiming that it has done so due to the aggressive actions by the United States and its NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies. NATO has not only placed missile defense systems in Eastern Europe but has also increased troop strength along Russia’s western border. As for the United States itself, diplomatic maneuverings and economic sanctions against Russia since the 2014 annexation of Crimea and threats to invade neighboring Ukraine have kept matters tense between the two powers.
Russia, which has been under an intense re-militarization since the turn of the millennium, has used those mentioned above and other incidents and political squabbles to justify its push re-establish itself as a world military power. At the same time, news reports of impending nuclear war or World War 3 have been rampant in Russia, as was reported by the Inquisitr, many laced with admonishments for the public to prepare.
In the last few weeks, such reports have grown increasingly ominous. Not only has state-controlled media pushed stories of nuclear war preparedness, such as going so far as to ask if citizens knew where the nearest bomb shelter was located, but Russian President Vladimir Putin himself went on national television to advise people to obtain gas masks and scout out their nearest nuclear shelter.
And, as The Daily Beast reported, orders were sent by the Ministry of Emergency Situations to ensure that the stadium being built for World Cup 2018 was equipped with shelters to be used in wartime.
Still, not all believe that all the saber-rattling, re-armament, and constant military exercising is about actual preparation for a coming war. Experts believe it is simply President Putin and the Russian government’s way of instilling a sense of urgency in the people about a perceived danger, one that would justify more military spending. In fact, the military’s budget will take precedence in the upcoming Duma session.
A 19-year-old student, Vladimir Gladkov, looks at the tensions with a cynical eye. He thinks that the much of the problems are manufactured. “Americans are not crazy to bomb us,” he told the Daily Beast. “I am not sure why our authorities want people to experience hysterical panic attacks. Maybe somebody feels annoyed that we feel too free and happy.”
Cynicism aside, things really aren’t looking good on the diplomatic or military fronts, as has been reported on by the Inquisitr. The economic sanctions against Russia are still in place. Russia just withdrew from its 2010 plutonium disposal treaty with the U.S. Moscow also re-establishment an eastern military base just 85 miles from Alaska for the first time in over 20 years. More recently, the Kremlin announced it had authorized the re-establishment of nuclear bomber patrols along U.S. airspace, something that was discontinued at the end of the Cold War.
As for the United States, it has announced the modernization of its nuclear weapons arsenal as well.
And with the two nuclear powers backing opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, where cease-fire talks have broken down amid Russia and the U.S. blaming each other for egregious acts, who can really blame Russians, or Americans for that matter, for worrying about a nuclear war between the two or even a multi-state World War 3?
[Featured Image by Markus Gann/Shutterstock]