Russia Says the US Is in Denial About Russia’s Power — and They Might Be Right

Russia Says the US Is in Denial About Russia's Power -- and They Might Be Right

( – On Wednesday, April 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the country successfully tested the RS-28 Sarmat missile, also referred to as “Satan 2.” Some people may have seen this launch as a cause for concern, but the Pentagon was seemingly complacent. Its lackluster attitude towards Moscow has led to a Russian reporter saying the United States is in denial.

The Pentagon’s Response

Following the successful launch of the RS-28 Sarmat missile, the Pentagon issued a statement saying the action wasn’t a threat, and the Pentagon received advance notification — from none other than Russia. “Such testing is routine,” Press Secretary John Kirby wrote, saying the launch “was not a surprise.”

The RS-28 Sarmat has a target range exceeding 6,200 miles and is a dangerous weapon because it can carry 10-15 conventional nuclear warheads, an unspecified number of Avangard hypersonic warheads, and can “strike targets anywhere in the world.” However, the weapon apparently doesn’t worry the United States much.

The Pentagon’s lackluster response — or rather, lack of a response — was enough to set off Dmitry Kiselev, a Rossiya 1 TV anchor. He said the US isn’t taking Russia seriously and said such behavior is “typical for the first phase of grief: denial.”

But, is the US really in denial, or was Russia hoping for more of a reaction, à la Cold War-era days?

Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited? Not Quite

In October 1962, under President John F. Kennedy, Jr., the United States entered a tense standoff with the then-Soviet Union. The event, dubbed the Cuban Missile Crisis, lasted 13 days and had the world on the edge of its seat. Many people globally feared nuclear war was imminent — similar to current worries over Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine.

At the time, the Soviet Union and the United States were both superpowers, and the confrontation was one of the biggest in the Cold War era. It all started when the Soviets joined forces with Cuba and began building missiles on the island nation. With the West having missiles in Turkey and Western Europe aimed at the Soviets, the Russians became uneasy. Tensions between the US and Cuba were at an all-time high, making it the perfect place for the Soviet Union to set up missile silos, especially with it being only 90 miles from the US coast. Eventually, President Kennedy and the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, agreed to end the tense standoff.

The World Nuclear Powers

Perhaps Putin was expecting this latest missile launch to spark some of that same fear and willingness for negotiation, much like the Cuban Missile Crisis did. However, while the Pentagon’s response was reportedly tepid, the US shouldn’t discount Russia’s nuclear capability — it’s one of only nine nuclear states in the world.

Between them, according to Julian Lewis, UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee Chair, these powers could “annihilate each other.” He also said the Satan 2 missile doesn’t affect the “effectiveness of our Trident nuclear deterrent submarines,” meaning there are defense systems to prevent such a disaster. Yet most experts seem to point to this test as a red herring, a chance for Putin to demonstrate he still has the power, despite things not going his way in Ukraine.

Do you think US officials are in denial about Russia’s military and nuclear capabilities, or are we simply better at withholding a reaction to avoid fueling the fire? Reply to your email and let us know what you think. We love hearing from our readers.

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