Russia & the World: Is Russia really preparing for war?

18:06 Oct. 13, 2016

Is Russia really preparing for war?

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the 8th annual VTB Capital "Russia Calling!" Investment Forum in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. (AP Photo)

Putin issued an informal request for Russia officials abroad to return home. Some Western tabloids alleged, Moscow was preparing for a big war

The British tabloid Daily Mail published an article on October 12 about the recent reports that President Putin had ordered Russian officials and their families, living in other countries, to return home.

The manner of the piece implicated that the order had come as an anticipation of an international military conflict, Bethania Palma claimed in her article for Snopes.com

Daily Mail cited the Russian-language news agency Znak.com as the source of the information and a quotation of Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky, provided in the article by Znak, who said the following: 'This is all part of the package of measures to prepare elites for some 'big war'. 

Read more 'We were forced to protect Russian-speaking people in Donbas' - Putin

Daily Mail then expanded on the ‘big war' topic, talking about the tensions between Russia and the West, Syrian war etc. But this is not what Znak article said.

‘Translated from Russian, the piece said that Putin's administration had issued an informal request, not an order, that Russian officials and their family members who are living abroad return home. The piece discussed not a pending military conflict, but a public perception problem stemming from Russian elites' sending their children to be educated at expensive Western schools while their homeland is in the midst of challenging the West and jockeying with the U.S. for global power', Berthania Palma insisted.

Read also ‘Instability and separatism': analyst reveals Putin's plans for the US

Another British website Daily Star even went as far as implying that Putin was ordering officials to go home in preparation for a nuclear "World War III". 

It also quoted Mr. Belkovsky's message about the ‘big war'.

‘It (Belkovsky's statement – UT) comes after Russia held civil defense drills for 40 million citizens in apparent preparation for an apocalyptic nuclear war' Daily star wrote.

‘While it is true that tensions between Russia, the United States, and other Western countries are high, we found no sound evidence that Putin was "ordering" officials and their families to return as part of preparation for "World War III." These seem to be fear-mongering claims conflating various and possibly unrelated Russian domestic affairs with international tensions', Palma concluded.

As reported, in September Putin sparked fears of WW3 by ordering evacuation of 40 mln Russians. Back in August Russian journalist and military expert Pavel Felgengauer said that Putin is to start a fully-fledged armed conflict with Ukraine in the first weeks of September – or to postpone it till the next year

Read also Will Putin start a full-scale war in Ukraine? 

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