If one wants to know why the modern Russian state and the Russian people are so averse to war, just take a look and the following charts.
Conservative estimates for Soviet deaths in the Great Patriotic War/Second World War are just over 26 million. Other scholars take the aggregate total of deaths including those who died from starvation and disease at around 40 million.
Between 1941 and 1945, more Russian mothers had to bury their sons than any other group of mothers in the world and that’s just the mothers who themselves didn’t die during the war.
Every Russian person alive today either knows or is related to someone who fought in the Great Patriotic War. It is why on the 9th of May, every year, everyone from Vladimir Putin to ordinary people march in The Immortal Regiment to honour their loved who were veterans of that war whether they died in battle or after.
With this in mind, is it any wonder that Russians do not share the same zeal for war as those who have numerically and dare I say emotionally, not experienced the hell of war as sharply and as painfully?
It is as easy and as disgusting for alt-media trolls sitting behind their laptops to talk about Russia ‘lobbing nukes’ to show America Russia means business as it is for cretins like fake news merchant Brian Williams to call an unprovoked missile attack which killed innocent people ‘beautiful’.
This is why it should come as no surprise to anyone that First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Jabarov has said that,
“We cannot be dragged into a military confrontation as it could lead to a large-scale war”.
People like John McCain may just be crazy enough to want a war between superpowers, but hardly any Russians are.
In spite of this, many in the nominally pro-Russian alt-media seem to salivate at the concept of Russia engaging with the United States in a Third World War.
Copying aggressive, militant and preemptive neo-con strategies, only under a Russian flag, is not the solution to the mess that Donald Trump has created in Syria, nor is it what any mainstream Russian politician wants whether President Putin or opposition leaders Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Gennady Zyuganov. Contrary to inaccurate reports, the Russian government and main opposition leaders are speaking with a generally unified voice; one that is calm but stern, angry and prepared but not vengeful nor fanatical.
The Russian view boils down to this: maintain close and indeed closer cooperation with Syria, bolster Syria’s defences and be prepared for the worst with the knowledge that Syria and her legal allies do have the legal right to retaliate against any aggression on a sovereign state.
At the moment, that aggression mostly comes in the form of foreign terrorist proxies of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Britain, France and America. It also includes Turkish soldiers who Russia has not engaged with in battle and Israeli aircraft which Syria has engaged militarily but Russia has not.
Russia wants to avoid escalating the conflict at any cost, but is nevertheless prepared and quietly preparing for things to get worse all while working hard diplomatically to make sure things might get even a little better.
If Russia could resist the temptation to start another Russo-Turkish war in Syria, it follows that they will now try to resist a new Cuban Missile Crisis in the Middle East and one without the happy ending at that.
This explains Russia’s calm and quiet approach to the new unknown realities of American foreign policy in Syria.
As much as many would like Russian foreign policy to be as unpredictable, imperious and rash as that of the United States, this would be foolish. One doesn’t fight madness with madness.
Russia understands this, many people who fail to understand Russian history and culture do not.