With diplomatic relations between Moscow and Washington at their lowest point since the Cold War, turning on Russian television can be an alarming experience. For the past month, Russian media outlets have been punctuated with reports asking people whether they are ready for nuclear war.
“If it should one day happen, every one of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is. It’s best to find out now,” according to one particularly fevered report on the Russian state-owned channel, NTV.
“We’ve had it with American abuse over Syria,” the show’s host, Evgeny Kiselyov, told his audience. “Impudent behavior,” from the U.S. towards Russia, he said, can now take on “nuclear dimensions.”