Former CNN Foreign Affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty spent the last 2 months traveling from "the Baltic region to Georgia and to Russia," and reported in an article for the Wilson Center/ Keenan Institute: "Talk of war is everywhere."
The Baltics fear Russian invasion, while The Kremlin believes "NATO and the U.S. are the enemy and Russia must be ready for attack."
Working-class Russians are busy "stocking up on essentials in case of war because in Moscow 'warfever' is at fever pitch."
"The Kremlin," says Dougherty, "is frightened about its grip on the political situation at home--and the geopolitical situation abroad.
"Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev complains that NATO's rhetoric at its summit in Warsaw 'simply howls about the effort to almost announce war against Russia."
Gorbachev claims, "NATO talks about defense, but actually is preparing for offensive action."
Alexander Grushko, Russian's envoy to NATO, says that NATO's "confrontational policy" is being built on a "mythical threat" from Russia.
Maria Zakharova, Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman believes Russia has been "demonized" and demands examples of how the nation "is undermining peace and order in Europe."
"Sweden claims that we are threatening them," she said. "The UK says we are a threat. What are the specific examples?"
Foreign affairs expert, Sergei Karaganov contends that "western propaganda against Russia is reminiscent of the period preceding a new war.
"The help offered by NATO is not symbolic help for the Baltic states," he said. "It is a provocation. If NATO initiates an encroachment against a nuclear power like ourselves, it will be punished."
"President Vladimir Putin himself plays both sides against the middle," Dougherty said. "Warning the West that Russia will have to 'strengthen its strategic nuclear forces' in order to counter the U.S. missile shield, while insisting it's the West, not Russia, that's destroying the balance that kept the world from nuclear conflict during the Cold War.
"Russia," says Dougherty, "is trying to deter the West in a very aggressive way because it realizes it is weaker--economically, militarily and in terms of soft power.
"The world, right now, is a very unstable place, for everyone, including Vladimir Putin."
A wise man once said: "Never underestimate the power of a cornered bear." -- Daniel Xu, outdoorhub
"There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." Proverbs 14:12
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