Russian tanks, aircraft, and missiles are rolling off assembly lines at rates not seen in decades. Russian war games involving tens of thousands of troops are breaking out all over. Russian jets roar through European skies with impunity. Though most economic sectors in the world’s largest country are facing a ten percent cut in their budgets this year, military spending for 2015 will rise by a staggering 33%! Russian President Vladimir Putin is clearly ready for a possible showdown with the West over Ukraine. The new Russian military doctrine, endorsed by Putin this past December, actually specifically names NATO as a top threat to the Motherland.
Russia is reviving Soviet-era airfields and opening new military bases in the Arctic. It has plans to send strategic bombers on regular patrols as far as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. NATO said it intercepted Russian aircraft more than 400 times last year, triple the intercepts of the previous year. Since annexing the Crimean Peninsula, Russia has deployed scores of combat jets there, including nuclear-capable long-range bombers. The Russian navy finally conducted a series of successful test launches of a new submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missile, and has already equipped two submarines with it. A third will be commissioned next year, with five more to follow. The Russian army, for their part, is set to receive a new tank this year. It will surpass all Western tanks in that it will have a remotely controlled cannon.
Moreover, last year the Russian armed forces received a record number of 38 new nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles. This year they will get another 50, effectively fulfilling their goal of replacing their Soviet-built missiles.
In an effort to spread fear in the region, this past September Russian operatives crossed into Estonia and captured an Estonian internal security officer at gunpoint and dragged him into Russia. They have not released him.
On February 21st, thousands of Russians gathered for a protest near Red Square. Many carried banners that said “Die, America!” and “USA, Stop the War!” The first is something we’ve seen in the past only in places such as Iran. The second…is a bit of a puzzler. I mean, Boris, WTF?
A 65-year-old retired female teacher at the protest stated that another Maidan “will never win in Russia. I will bring the ammunition myself!” (Maidan is the Ukrainian word for “square” and is usually used to refer to Independence Square, where Ukraine’s own pro-European protests took place a year ago). In the past year anti-American sentiment has spiked in Russia, to levels not seen since at least the early 1990’s. According to a poll conducted last month by the “independent” Levada Center, 81% of Russians feel negatively about the United States. The number of Russians who described the U.S. as an outright “enemy” leapt from 4% in January of 2014 to 42% in February of 2015!
There is more “change you can believe in.” Ironic.
The Russian defense minister stated recently, “The task set by the President not to allow anyone to get a military advantage over Russia will be fulfilled no matter what.”
Meanwhile, the West frets about how many genders there may be and if they should all use one bathroom. It tries everything it can to not hurt the feelings of Muslims, even those attached to groups known to sponsor terror.
Obama polishes his golf clubs when not insulting the Israeli Prime Minister.
Historically, the West never learns from history.
If it doesn’t get serious soon, it may succumb to it.