Russia War: Putin Calls The West ‘Barbarians,’ But Are Fears Of War Exaggerated?

A war with Russia seems to be at the front of everyone’s mind these days. While fear of the Soviet Union and the Cold War era may seem like something from the very distant past, once again headlines are proclaiming that Russia is our sworn enemy and that we should all be on the alert.

Rumors are currently circulating that Russia is so keen to influence the upcoming 2016 presidential election that they have even employed secret operatives, James Bond-style, who have hacked into the political institutions of the United States and gotten hold of emails that are now being made public. But is this Russia war real or imagined?

Vladimir Putin has distanced himself from speculation that he is trying to somehow influence the American election by calling the idea “unrealistic” and “unthinkable.”

“The number of mythical, dreamt-up problems includes the hysteria – I can’t think of another word – that has broken out in the United States about the influence of Russia on the current elections for the US President. Does anyone seriously think Russia can somehow influence the choice of the US people? Is the US some kind of banana republic? The United States is a great power. Please correct me if I’m wrong.”

Addressing the fear of a war with Russia, Putin also categorically denied that Russia was planning to attack anybody.

“It’s very pleasant and profitable to make yourself out to be defendants of civilization from some new barbarians, but the thing is Russia doesn’t plan to attack anyone.”

Why are tensions between the United Stated and Russia so heightened today?

Moscow, Russia celebrating the Great Patriotic War
70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War, May 9, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. [Image by Host Photo Agency/Getty Images]

In early October, Russia moved some missile launchers with nuclear capability quite close to three Baltic states and bordering Lithuania and Poland. Russian sources have denied anything untoward and stated that these launches were put there for training purposes only and that they have been placed there before in the Kaliningrad region. U.S. intelligence officials, however, have suggested that this move might have come about in order to express Russia’s annoyance with NATO.

But do these two things really point towards war with Russia? Most likely not. However, Russia is certainly not without its critics, many of whom are skeptical at best about these latest developments. Steven Pifer, an arms control expert, has said that this may be the lowest point yet since the Cold War when it comes to relations between the United States and Russia. And he’s not the only one who has their reservations.

Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project, seems to share Steven Pifer’s opinion.

“We are in a dangerous situation. Certainly a situation that is much more dire or tense than it was 10 years ago.”

Many people will remember their parents reading Carl Sagan literature during the Cold War, which vividly described what would happen in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Eventually, the threat and worry about the Soviet Union retreated from people’s minds, but once again fear of a Russia war has been sparked, whether it be a genuine concern or the willful manipulation of the facts by our politicians and press.

Just days ago, Russia showed images of a shiny new intercontinental ballistic missile, which Russian government officials say could easily decimate someplace the size of France or Texas, and that is with a single warhead. This new missile is quite technologically advanced and can hold 15 warheads. It is also MIRV-equipped, which means that it is able to cover a vast area with completely separate detonations. In other words, it is able to drop many nuclear weapons over one specific target area. Perhaps this is why NATO has humorously referred to it as the Satan-2. This RS-28 is due to replace their older R-36, or Satan.

Obviously, countries all work on having the most technologically advanced equipment possible, and today, this also includes the most modern methods of warfare. However, there is really no reason to fear any of this. Perhaps when viewed as a series of events closely linked to a certain timescale, people might be frightened, but there is another way of looking at things too. Countries with the money and the capacity to build weapons will do so, and despite what is happening in Syria and worries about the upcoming election, these are all things that aren’t out of the ordinary and probably wouldn’t even be noticed or mentioned if there wasn’t another agenda going on. Fear is one of the best methods of control, which is why nobody should spend too much time worrying about war with Russia.

How do you feel about what’s happening in Russia right now? Do you feel there is really any cause for concern over a war with Russia, or do you think the risks have been greatly exaggerated?

[Featured Image by Mark Schiefelbein/Getty Images]