As relations between Russia and the US disintegrate as a result of the escalating proxy war in Syria, which today culminated with Putin halting a Plutonium cleanup effort with the US, shortly before the US State Department announced it would end negotiations with Russia over Syria, an unprecedented 40 million Russian citizens, as well as 200,000 specialists from “emergency rescue divisions” and 50,000 units of equipment are set to take part in a four day-long civil defense, emergency evacuation and disaster preparedness drill beginning today, the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense reported on its website.
According to Oleg Manuilov, the director of the Russian Civil Defense Department, the exercise will be a test run of how the population would respond to a “disaster occurrence” under an “emergency” situation. Federal agencies, heads of regions, local authorities and other organizations will take part in the massive exercise.
“Training will be held from October 4 to 7 and will be attended by more than 40 million people, more than 200 thousand professionals rescue units and 50 thousand pieces of equipment,” Manuilov said.
Today’s exercise is being run by EMERCOM, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry.
The drill is taking place as international tension builds amidst heightening tensions between the United States and Russia following attacks in Syria, Russian state officials are preparing terrified citizens for a nuclear war – which they say would be started by America.
The fear that the West is set for war with Russia is being spread throughout media reports and official statements.
One headline on the website Zvezda last week read “Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow” – claiming the US wanted to punish Russia over challenges in the Middle East.
EMERCOM announced on Friday that underground shelters which could fit the entire population of Moscow – 12 million – if war broke out.
According to Oleg Manuilov, the director of the Russian Civil Defense Department, the exercise will be a test run of how the population would respond to a “disaster occurrence” under an “emergency” situation.
At a level of constant fear of devastating attacks from America, Moscow has carried out at least two nuclear attack drills since Vladimir Putin became the president again in 2012.
The nerves surrounding Russia’s fears of attack have grown from comments made by Ash Carter, the US secretary of defense, who said the Pentagon was reviewing its “nuclear playbook” to ensure against “terrible attacks” by Russia.
“Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at Wednesday’s press briefing, adding that if the war in Syria continues “more Russian lives will be lost, more Russian aircraft will be shot down.”
Moscow responded to Kirby’s warning by taking it as a veiled threat. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova responded by suggesting that Kirby’s announcement sounded, “more like a ‘get ’em’ command, rather than a diplomatic comment.”
General Director of the Rossiya Segodnya international news agency Dmitry Kiselev has boasted Russia could turn the US into ‘radioactive ash.’
Confrontation with the West, and a willingness to continue the rift, is said to be something those in Putin’s inner circle are encouraging. It has previously been reported that Putin is preparing for war with the West.
Last month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford told the US Senate that in order for a no fly zone to be imposed over Syria, the United States would have to go to war with Russia.
The Russian president has invested heavily in decking out top secret facilities around Moscow in the event of war.
He has even ordered the building of a 400-square mile facility in the remote wastes of the Ural Mountains from where any future conflict could be directed.