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PSonne172 karma

Very good question. I don't think we're there yet. Though the risk is real. It has become a much more pressing question amid the debate over whether the US should or should not provide lethal arms to Ukraine (so far Washington has said it has provided only non-lethal aid). Those who are against providing weapons have warned of the possibility of sort of sleepwalking into a full-scale confrontation with Russia, because if the weapons do not serve as a deterrent, and Russia escalates in response by providing equally powerful weaponry to the rebels, then what does the US/EU do? The good news is that I do think EU and US leaders are aware of this risk, which is probably why we have yet to see any weapons deliveries.

PSonne156 karma

We're already seeing a level of confrontation between Russia and Europe/US that is reminiscent of the Cold War. But we're not going to see a return of the same thing, because the world is different, more globalized and connected. One of the key differences is that Russia doesn't have an explicit opposing ideology in the way that the Soviet Union did during the Cold War. Much of the Cold War was directed by the concept that democracy had to triumph over communism - it was not just a geopolitical confrontation but also a battle over how countries and the world should be run. Though the Kremlin of late has tried to emphasize how much Russia's ideology differs from European liberalism, it's not a full-scale articulation of an alternative system. What we see in Russia today is more a modified version of what you see in Europe or the US, not a completely different way of organizing society as you had in the Soviet era.

PSonne144 karma

Yes, it exists. You should see the t-shirt stands around Moscow. The 'macho' PR stunts happen because they tap into something that the Kremlin knows is attractive to his constituents.

PSonne126 karma

Yes. Polls repeatedly show that Russians are indeed heavily influenced by state television. You can find an article on one of those polls here: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/poll-finds-94-of-russians-depend-on-state-tv-for-ukraine-coverage/499988.html The effects are palpable. For example, even though most of the rest of the world believes Russia-backed rebels downed MH17, polls show that the bulk of Russians believe the airliner was downed by Ukrainian forces - something Russian state television has been alleging since minutes after the crash.

PSonne108 karma

Is it Italian?