The Russians are coming? – AMAC





Vyacheslav Volodin (L) with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (R)

WASHINGTON, DC, July 13 — The 1966 movie, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming,” was a crazy Hollywood comedy. The IMDb movie website says the plot involved a Soviet submarine that ran aground off the coast of New England, scaring the townspeople into thinking the Russians were invading. But the recent chatter among Putin’s friends in Russia is apparently an effort to scare us into thinking the Russians are really coming.

Vyacheslav Volodin, who leads the Russian Duma, his legislature, and his Duma crony, Oleg Matveychev, both recently said that Russia could start a fight to reclaim Alaska.

“Volodin’s comments suggest he may support Russia targeting Alaska in retaliation for freezing Russian assets, a move that could spark a feared military confrontation between Russia and the United States,” he said. Newsweek. This is not the first time a Russian lawmaker has made such a threat. The New York Post reported in March that parliamentary Oleg Matveychev “demanded that the United States return Alaska”. Matveychev said he wanted “all Russian properties back, those of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and present-day Russia,” according to the Post, which noted that Sonoma County, Calif. , was once an outpost of the Russian Empire.

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy was quick to respond to Volodin’s threat on social media, tweeting “Good luck with that!” Not if we have anything to say about it. We have hundreds of thousands of armed and military Alaskans who will see it differently.

The reality is that the threats Volodin and Matveychev have made amount to full-scale saber-rattling, at least for now. Although the distance between Russia and Alaska is only 2.5 miles which separates the Russian island of Big Diomede and the American island of Little Diomede in the Bering Strait, which separates the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean, there seems to be no reason to be alarmed. Russia has a military presence on Big Diomede and there are no American soldiers on Little Diomede. But the Americans who live there say that, for now, “all [is] Calm on the Western Front,” to paraphrase the title of author Erich Maria Remarque’s 1928 novel.

According to New York Times, “Dan Sullivan, the young Republican U.S. Senator from Alaska, said that while there is little threat of a Russian invasion of Alaska, there are concerns about Russian military buildup in the region… Ukraine demonstrates even more. What matters to these guys is presence and power. And when you start building ports, when you start raising icebreakers, when you start talking about merchant shipping, when you have over 100 fifth generation fighters in the arctic in Alaska, we now start talking Putin’s language. ”

The Times also noted:

  • “…the federal government is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Port of Nome, which could turn into a deep-water hub serving Coast Guard and Navy vessels sailing through the Arctic Circle. The Coast Guard plans to deploy three new icebreakers, although Russia already has more than 50 in service.
  • “The Air Force has transferred dozens of F-35 fighter jets to Alaska, announcing that the state will host “more advanced fighters than any other place in the world.”
  • “The Navy, which this month conducted exercises above and below the sea ice inside the Arctic Circle, also developed a plan to protect American interests in the region, warning that the weakness there would mean that “peace and prosperity will be increasingly challenged by Russia” and China, whose interests and values ​​differ radically from ours.

155 years ago, in 1867, then-Secretary of State William H. Seward entered into the agreement to purchase Alaska from the Tsar of the Russian Empire, Alexander II, for 7, $2 million, or about $142,190,000 in today’s dollars. The thanks he received were newspaper headlines belittling the transaction and describing it as “Seward’s madness” and “Seward’s cooler”. But gold was discovered in Alaska in 1899, and in 1902 they found oil. Perhaps the Russians are beating their war drums because they feel they have taken the wrong end of the stick in this deal, but if the threat is real, we are apparently well prepared.







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Andrew B. Reiter