Staunton, May 6 – Ordinary Russians are being encouraged to think that a war with the West is imminent not only by the casual acceptance of that outcome by commentators close to the Kremlin (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/05/russian-elites-increasingly-accept-idea.html) but also by media outlets that reach a different and possibly larger audience in Russia.
A clear example of this latter trend is provided by an article in Pravda yesterday that argues there are at least 12 signs of “an approaching war of the West with Russia” and calls on its readers to supply more lest Russia be unprepared as it was for Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 (pravda.ru/world/05-05-2018/1383260-0/).
Among these warning signs, Petr Yermilin says, are the following: NATO exercises in the Baltic countries and Poland, intensified NATO air activity near the Russian border, the heating up of the conflict in the Donbass, the fighting in Syria, rising tensions between Israel and the US with Iran, and the Skripal case.
In every case, of course, the Pravda writer ignores the extent to which these supposedly warlike actions by the West are a response to real moves by the Putin regime that no responsible government or alliance could fail to make efforts to counter. But that is perhaps not the most serious problem with Yermilin’s article.
He concludes it with the following appeal: “If you know still more signs of war, add them to this article in your commentaries. Before the attack of fascist Germany on the USSR, there were sufficient signs” of what was coming although they were not always attended to.
“Today,” the KPRF commentator says, “Russia in fact has a common state border with NATO countries and with those who pray for the alliance. Observations and knowledge about the facts [in these places] will permit us better to analyst how and when the potential enemy will attack our country.”