Rossiya 1 television anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said "Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash." Rossiya 1 is owned by All-Russia State TV & Radio Broadcast Company which is owned by the Russian government. Their news broadcasts have become more propagandist the past few months according to Lev Gudkov, head of Moscow based polling agency. As he tells ABC News; "For intensity, comprehensiveness and aggressiveness, this is like nothing I have ever seen over the whole post-Soviet period". So Putin is using this network to send messages to his people, and to any other country who wants to know what Putin is thinking.
Back to Rossiya 1 anchor Kiselyov who continued standing in front of a gigantic image of a mushroom cloud produced after a nuclear attack, with the words "into radioactive ash". "Americans themselves consider Putin to be a stronger leader than Obama." pointing to opinion polls. "Why is Obama phoning Putin all the time and talking to him for hours on end"? Putin is clearly annoyed with the calls. But could this escalate to war? Putin seems to think it might.
Mr Kiselyov continued talking about how strong Russia's military is and then went on to warn Americans about Russia's "dead hand". "Even if people in all our command posts after an enemy atomic attack cannot be contacted, the system will automatically fire our missiles from mines and submarines in the right direction".
So how should the U.S. respond? I would say cautiously. Don't directly address this threat or any others from Putin. Like I have said for a while now Crimea was Putin's before he even sent the troops in. Today Russia said they may have to invade the rest of the Ukraine to protect Russian citizens there from violent Ukrainian nationalists. It may be too late to stop that.
We do need an international coalition to be based in Moldova who fears they are next to fall. Belarus has got their military ready, but we should be there too. In other words Putin would like to put the band back together. The entire Iron Curtain. The US, UK, Germany, Australia, and all the other coalition of the willing nations should be scrambling to defend the former Iron Curtain. Because if Russia recaptures them, it's doubtful Putin would stop there.