Russia fumes with anti-American hatred, which during the past year has significantly intensified possibly to the point of no return.
Ever since the ascension of Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency for his third term in 2012, Russia has been breeding hatred towards the United Stated and the West as a whole. It is unknown whether this was an intentional goal of Putin’s policy from the very beginning or it ‘just happened’ – one thing after another, Snowden, mutual accusations, spying rhetoric, Crimea, eastern Ukraine, constant threats, nuclear weapons… Is there an end to it?
One thing is certain, the Kremlin’s course of breeding hatred in the Russian society toward the Americans is working. Just one week ago, a 45-year-old Russian beat a man to death using his fists during boozing. The incident took place in Yaroslavl, a city some 160 miles from Moscow. The reason for such an aggressive – if not wild – behavior was that the victim had said he often traveled abroad. The drunk Russian aggressor then told police that he believed he was “neutralizing an American spy.”
While this particular case might seem too extreme, the overall hatred toward the U.S. is at its worse in post-Soviet Russia. According to this year’s survey published by Russian Levada Center, more than 80 percent of Russians view the United States with hatred. The number has almost doubled in just a year.
Meanwhile, a Gallup poll this year found that 70 percent of Americans view Russia negatively, which is the highest post-Cold War figure.
Russia: U.S. people are afraid to openly express their opinion on gays
And after the United States Supreme Court ruled a decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 U.S. states, it seems that the mutual hatred between the two countries has room for growth. A member of Russia’s Council of the Federation Committee on constitutional legislation and government development, Elena Afanasyeva, expressed the opinion so commonly expressed by the Russians toward gay marriages.
“I hope that this [legalizing same-sex marriage] will not happen in Russia in the next 25-30 years. In the United States and Europe, people that belong to the LGBT community pursue a very aggressive policy toward the others. If you openly say that you do not support their lifestyle, you may be asked to quit your job, or even fire you themselves, while you are constantly being judged for your point of view,” Afanasyeva told Russian media.
“That is the reason why so many people have been afraid to openly express their opinion. I would not like to see this kind of aggression from these people and the moral pressure appearing in Russia,” she added.
World War 3 becomes possible
And while the mutual hatred between the two countries keeps on intensifying, there are concerns that it may lead or even ‘push’ to a large-scale conflict: military or Cold War-like.
However, the ongoing confrontation between Russia and NATO states reminds rather the pre-World War I period than the times of the Cold War of the middle of the previous century, according to the Vox’s publication ‘How World War III became possible’ issued by Max Fisher.
The article claims that the threat of a nuclear conflict with Russia has turned into something that is not impossible anymore.
“Fearing the worst of one another, the US and Russia have pledged to go to war, if necessary, to defend their interests in the Eastern European borderlands,” the article says.
Max Fisher also notes the volatile balance of powers and the increasing tensions on the European continent. According to the author, the most probable ‘spot’ of the upcoming nuclear conflict would become the Baltic states.
As a prove of the possible beginning of a new World War in the region, the author reminds that the President of the U.S. Barack Obama visited Estonia before the NATO summit, where he affirmed the readiness of the U.S. to protect its Alliance partners against any invasions by foreign countries.
“Estonia, along with Latvia and Lithuania — together known as the Baltic states — are at the far edge of Eastern Europe, along Russia’s border,” the article says, adding that the Western analysts express their concerns over the possibility of a new wave of aggression from Russia particularly toward the Baltics.
Russia is looking for legal grounds to invade the Baltics
As noted by Stephen Saideman, a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa and a leading expert on Canadian defense and foreign policy, small countries are the most probable ‘frontline’ of any upcoming military conflict.
The author of the article also points out that the fourth part of Estonia’s population are ethnic Russians. The authors of the article also remind about the Ukrainian conflict and assume that the Crimean scenario may happen in the Baltics, where a Russian intervention may also begin with the appearance of ‘little green men’ and the Kremlin’s rhetoric about protecting the rights of the Russian-speaking part of the population.
The article also argues that the Russian-majority Estonian city of Narva, which is located a few hundred yards from Russia’s borders, may become the ‘starting point’ of the conflict.
This kind of scenario would offer NATO a difficult choice whether to open fire on Russian military men and risk unleashing the World War 3 or to officially agree on a long-term ‘frozen’ conflict.
As it was reported just yesterday, Russia is going to review the legality of the Soviet Union decision to recognize the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia as independent nearly 25 years ago. Seems like Russia is looking for ‘legal’ grounds to launch its invasion into the Baltics, doesn’t it?
However, if Russia and NATO will be brave enough to start a military confrontation, the planet will face a ‘nuclear winter’.