Russia‘s defense minister Sergey Shoygu announced the intention to build mid-range, nuclear-capable missiles a week after the President Trump has decided to abandon INF Treaty, which is considered to be one of the biggest achievement of humanity, closing the chapter of the Cold War. The world is pushed back full force into the situation of the imminent risk of the World war III, triggered by will or by an accident. The dangerous perception of possibility to wage and win a nuclear war is back.
It would be very naive to think that technology is perfect: in 1983 Soviet officer on duty has prevented the nuclear war just because of his exceptional capacity for analysis, assuming the information he received from computers was erroneous – an episode of Cold War known as “false nuclear attack“.
The humanity was exceptionally lucky, that Stanislav Petrov was on duty on September 26, 1983 to identify the missile attack warnings as “false alarm“. His personal decision to disobey the rules is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack based on erroneous signals on the United States and its NATO allies missiles, which could have resulted in immediate escalation to the full-scaled nuclear war. Now we, as humanity are back to the situation when our survival depends on decision of an officer on duty, watching the monitor.
Last five years both the Americans and Russians blamed each other the violation of the INF, however it was NATO rapidly expanding.
Kremlin accuses the U.S. of violating the INF by the deployment of Aegis missile defence system in Romania and Poland, indicating that the launchers used in that system for defensive interceptors could be adapted to fire offensive cruise missiles.
In return Washington accused Russians of employment mystery missile 9M729 for Iskander launchers being more powerful than declared (480 km). Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov acknowledged its existence but firmly denied it was capable to hit targets between 500 -5,500 km away, strictly compliant with the INF.
The problems accumulating in the US-Russia relations have created a toxic mass within a new political and military context, caused by NATO galloping enlargement with a subsequent advancing of the military infrastructure to Russian borders: after including the East European countries, belonging to the Warsaw Pact the moment of the INF signature between Reagan and Gorbachev. nowadays the Alliance moved further to the East opening its door for Georgia and Ukraine. The perspective of installing Aegis there will create a vulnerability for Moscow, impossible to neglect.
However existing problems of relations between superpowers do not give a right to cancel the greatest achievement of the past, reversing progress, and pushing humanity to the brink of a fatal nuclear conflict, of which Europe is becoming a hostage. The American ambition for the hegemony has price too high to pay – the extinction of our civilization.