Russia fears the prospect of a German-lead EUSSR and Russian General warns of tactical nuclear war in Europe.
The loose talk of German politicians threatening a new war in Europe if EU states refuse to accept German rule has produced a Russian response.
During the Second World War Russia suffered massive casualties as a result of the German invasion. Millions in the Western parts of the USSR were killed, many from German firing squads and death camps. Naturally the Russian Federation is nervous of a new German-led threat to their territory and there is recognition that the western movement of national boundaries in 1945 provides all of the same old excuses for Germany to turn East in search of living space and raw materials.
Before 1939, there was a line of buffer states between Germany and the USSR. After 1945, the USSR occupied and controlled these states as satellites providing a killing ground between Germany and the USSR as a guarantee against future German incursions into Russia. The moment that the USSR started to implode, the former satellites looked to join the EU and NATO to safeguard their future against future Russian incursions. This was a blow to Russian pride and seen as a future threat.
The US intention of creating a missile shield over Europe to safeguard US interests was seen by the Russians as a further future threat. To European countries, and to the US, the missile shield promises protection against nuclear threats from the Middle East and Far East as nuclear proliferation is now seen as inevitable amongst countries that are not known for their rational and mature actions. To the Russians, the shield represents a real threat because it means that any attack from the West could not be countered by a Russian nuclear retaliatory strike.
These fears have been simmering away, never far from the surface. Talk by German politicians of war and evidence of a growing German ability to forcibly change the governments of other European countries serves only to increase Russian fear. What terrifies the Kremlin now is that a new political force is forming that will not be as restrained as the US. Although Russia always considered a US invasion possible, it never considered that the US would strike first, giving the USSR a permanent advantage during the Cold War. Russians have every reason to believe that German armies would sweep East, deep into Mother Russia, ignoring international opinion with impunity.
As long as Germany was divided and occupied, it presented no real threat to Russia. Again united, German political rhetoric is returning to the language of Hitler. The military threat may not be immediate, but a move from talk to capability could be achieved rapidly. As it is assumed that Germany will take control of French nuclear weapons, the military threat takes on a new dimension. This introduces an immediate threat to peace because Russia could seek to target a Central European country to make its point and to attempt to deter German ambitions. That is most likely to be assistance to pro-Russian factions in the Ukraine, or the fabrication of tensions in the Baltic States. In either case, it rapidly increases the opportunities for miscalculation and conflict.