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The Russians Are Coming?

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2022
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by AMAC, John Grimaldi
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Vyacheslav Volodin (L) with President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (R)

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

Vyacheslav Volodin, who heads up Russia’s Duma, its legislature, and his Duma crony, Oleg Matveychev, have both recently stated that Russia might start a fight to reclaim Alaska. 

“Volodin’s comments suggest that he could support Russia targeting Alaska in retaliation for freezing Russian assets, a move that could start a feared military confrontation between Russia and the U.S.,” says Newsweek. It’s not the first time a Russian legislator made such a threat. The New York Post reported in March that parliamentarian Oleg Matveychev was “demanding the US return Alaska.” Matveychev said he wants “the return of all Russian properties, those of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and current Russia,” according to the Post, which noted that Sonoma County, CA was once an outpost of the Russian Empire.

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

The reality is that the threats Volodin and Matveychev made boil down to saber rattling on a grand scale, at least for now. Although the distance between Russia and Alaska is a mere 2.5 miles that 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 appears to be no cause for alarm. Russia has a military presence on Big Diomede and there are no U.S. soldiers on Little Diomede. But the Americans who live there say that, for now, “all [is] quiet on the western front,” to paraphrase the title of author Erich Maria Remarque’s 1928 novel.

According to the New York Times, “Dan Sullivan, Alaska’s junior Republican U.S. senator, said that while there may be little threat of a Russian invasion of Alaska, there is concern about Russia’s military buildup in the region…Ukraine just demonstrates even more. What matters to these guys is presence and power.  And when you start to build ports, when you start to bring up icebreakers, when you start to bring up Navy shipping, when you have over 100 fifth-gen fighters in the Arctic in Alaska, we’re starting to now talk Putin’s language.”

The Times also noted:

  • “…the federal government is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the port at Nome, which could transform into a deep-water hub servicing Coast Guard and Navy vessels navigating into the Arctic Circle. The Coast Guard expects to deploy three new icebreakers — although Russia already has more than 50 in operation.”
  • “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 location in the world.” 
  • “The Navy, which this month conducted exercises above and below the sea ice inside the Arctic Circle, also has developed a plan for protecting American interests in the region, warning that weakness there would mean that “peace and prosperity will be increasingly challenged by Russia and China, whose interests and values differ dramatically from ours.”

It was 155 years ago, in 1867, that then Secretary of State William H. Seward made the deal to purchase Alaska from the Czar of the Russian Empire, Alexander II, for $7.2 million — about $142,190,000 in todays dollars. The thanks he got were deprecating newspaper headlines mocking the transaction and describing it as “Seward’s folly” and “Seward’s icebox.” But gold was discovered in Alaska in 1899 and in 1902 they struck oil. Perhaps the Russians are beating their war drums because they feel that they got the wrong end of the stick in that deal but if the threat is real we apparently are well prepared.   

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PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Lots of words to say nothing. Putin has his hands full with Ukraine. A country he thought he could roll over in 3 days with no real resistance. No one in Russia, especially Putin or his Generals, is stupid enpugh to think that even with Biden in the White House, that Russia would be able to just “reclaim” Alaska. This is nothing more than a useless distraction article trying to divert the public’s attention from the many real matters confronting our country.

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