Mark Collins – Syria: Russia Threatening Nuclear “De-Escalation”? NATO?

Further to this post,

Syria: POTUS be Prudent vs Assad and Bad Vlad

we now see this:

Russia’s top spin doctor in nuclear warning
Russian state TV host Dmitry Kiselyov [more here] has a reputation for attacking the West.

Critics call him the “Kremlin’s chief propagandist”. And like many other top Russian officials, he is on the Western sanctions blacklist.

But the warning he delivered to Washington in last night’s edition of his show News of the Week was, even for him, particularly dramatic. “Impudent behaviour” towards Russia may have “nuclear” consequences, he said.

“A Russian takes a long time to harness a horse, but then rides fast,” said the news anchor, quoting a famous Russian saying.

By “riding fast”, Kiselyov was referring to a string of recent Russian military deployments:

*Last week, Moscow sent three warships from the Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean: on board, cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads

*Russia deployed nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into the Kaliningrad region bordering Poland…

Kiselyov said that in recent days there had been a “radical change’ in the US-Russian relationship.

Moscow was taking action, he said, because of “the loud talk in Washington of a ‘Plan B’ for Syria. Everyone understands what this plan means: direct military force in Syria against President Assad’s forces and the Russian military”…

As for Russia and nukes, they have a strategic rationale:

NORAD and Russian Cruise Nukes: “de-escalation”? 

NORAD and Russian Cruise Nukes: “de-escalation”? Part 2

And what about NATO and nukes?

Tough Question for NATO: “Would we really go nuclear to protect Estonia?”

Just remember those Canadian Forces going to Latvia. The planned NATO Baltic strengthening certainly could not beat the Bear conventionally according to an earlier RAND study. One hopes the NATO presence can deter, trip-wire in the nuclear sense.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


2 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Syria: Russia Threatening Nuclear “De-Escalation”? NATO?”

  1. A friend familiar with Russian strategic thinking responds to their missile deployment at Kaliningrad:

    “As Russia sees its strategic doctrine, deployment of significant weapons systems is one step on their escalation dominance theory which at some future point involves precision strikes with nuclear weapons as a last warning. The first step is probably high-performing SAMs which I believe are already in Kaliningrad, then local aerial/naval activity, some of it aggressive, then…these missiles.

    It might be that this deployment is in response to the announced NATO Baltic deployments.

    A key question is whether their signal is being read by people who have studied their new doctrine.”

    No kidding.

    Mark Collins

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