The Financial Times
on Friday an article by its Moscow correspondent Charles Clover about the strongly increased Russian threat.
In an article entitled "Russia turns up the nuclear rhetoric" Clover expresses concern that the Russian leaders now often utter threats of their possible use of Moscow nuclear arsenals to exterminate Western countries.
This possibility was transparently hinted several times by Putin's puppet Medvedev shortly before leaving "presidential post" which had been granted to him for some time by Putin. "Nuclear weapons may still come in handy", Medvedev said in May at a ceremony of government awards. "We're not going to use them, but let's still keep them around, because we are a big country, a complex country. We must appreciate it and protect it", threatened the puppet.
It was an odd demonstration of the Kremlin's even odder relationship to its most prized asset - the one thing that still gives Russia its global superpower status: the ability to blow the planet to kingdom come.
In a speech after speech this month, Russian officials have tried to out Dr Strangelove each other in warning of a potential nuclear conflagration. The rhetoric coincided with the test launch on Wednesday of a new generation of strategic missiles.
The Russian nuclear hyperbole seems directed at the US and its allies, who announced at an annual Nato summit in Chicago this week the formal beginning of a much-vaunted anti-ballistic missile system based partly in eastern Europe. The centuries-old aggressive Russia claims that the true purpose of this system is the desire to neutralize its own beloved nuclear deterrent.
For most Russians, the Kremlin's obsession with nuclear deterrent is a figment of the cold war, a somewhat charming piece of nostalgia, like Komsomol party meetings and red bandannas. It's all taking place in a parallel reality, unconnected to mainstream politics (though many political commentators in the West always point out that one can expect anything from the Russians because their insane mentality, called "crazy Russians" world over - KC).
But tell that to Russia's financial markets, which sold off last week when Medvedev engaged in more of the recreational paranoia that has come to be the hallmark of US-Russia relations. Warning the audience of a legal affairs conference in St Petersburg against interference in third-party global conflicts, Medvedev said: "At some moment such actions, which undermine sovereignty, can end with a full-fledged regional war, or even, and I don't want to scare anybody, the use of nuclear weapons". The stock market promptly dived 3.5 per cent.
Talking up the nuclear deterrent by unfinished Russia is a sure sign the Kremlin is nervous. Experts point out that the dispute flared up because of the technologies and theoretical developments in the field of missile defense which for now do not exist in both parties.†
Department of Monitoring