Like other presidents before him, President Donald Trump recently called out Russia for violating a 1987 treaty between that restricted the possession and deployment of short- and intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
Unlike prior presidents, Trump went a step further and suggested the U.S. will pull out of the treaty and either renegotiate it or resume producing and deploying the fearsome weapons.
In response to that move, the U.K. Express reported that a top Russian official — Andrei Belousov, deputy chief of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control — told a United Nations General Assembly committee gathering last week that his nation was making all the necessary preparations for a potential military conflict with the U.S.
“Here recently at the meeting, the United States said that Russia is preparing for war,” Belousov said. “Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it. We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people — we are preparing for such a war.”
However, the Russians may want to slow the measure of their steady drum beat toward war, as that nation’s questionable military just suffered an incredible accident that has taken its one and only aircraft carrier out of action for the foreseeable future.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Russia’s sole aircraft carrier — the Admiral Kuznetzsov, first launched in 1985 — was significantly damaged when a massive floating dock sank and an attached 70-ton crane crashed into the ship. Four workers were injured. One was missing, the BBC reported.
The accident made headlines around the world.
Moscow Russia’s only aircraft carrier was damaged when a crane crashed on to it as it was undergoing repairs near the Arctic city of Murmanskhttps://t.co/2U5surMEv7
— The Times of London (@thetimes) October 31, 2018
The crane reportedly ripped open a hole in the carrier’s deck estimated to be at least 215 square feet in size, though it is believed that none of the ship’s vital systems were damaged in the incident.
That estimate came from Alexei Rakhmanov, head of the United Shipbuilding Corp. that owned and operated the massive floating dock in Murmansk.
Ironically, the accident that damaged the carrier happened just as the ship was leaving the dock following various repairs. It is thought that a power surge to the dock’s pumps led to a failure that caused the dock to sink, according to the AP.
Adding insult to injury, the massive 80,000-ton floating dock is the only one of its kind in Russia, and it is unclear if Russia will be capable of placing it back in service.
The loss of the floating dock, even temporarily, puts a big kink in Russia’s ongoing efforts to modernize all of the ships in its navy.
As for the aircraft carrier, it is unclear how long this new damage will keep it out of action. Rakhmanov believed the new damage to the carrier wouldn’t add significant length to the carrier’s refurbishment and repair timeline.
Though the ship had been in the process of leaving the floating dock following earlier repairs when the accident occurred, it wasn’t yet fully ready to deploy into action as it still needed to be fitted with more advanced and modernized control and weapons systems.
Russia may claim that its is “fully prepared” for a war with the United States, but the temporary loss of its one and only aircraft carrier — which really wouldn’t stand up to United States air and naval assets for very long anyways — would seem to suggest otherwise. The loss is not only embarrassing for Russia’s national prestige, but also devastating to its own national security.
While we would kindly request that Russia ease off the steady drum beat toward war, we would forward that same request to those here in the U.S. who have been essentially beating that same drum for the past two years, namely the Democrats and liberal media figures who’ve been repeatedly accusing Russia of committing an act of war by virtue of its lame attempts to interfere in the 2016 election via social media.
That continued war-like rhetoric from the left has added incredible stress to the already fragile relations between the U.S. and Russia and created a situation where any sort of foreign policy adjustments — particularly involving the military — are viewed as threatening acts by both sides.
It is high time that both sides take a step back and cool the rhetoric, lest tens of millions of innocent people die in an entirely avoidable military conflict.
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