Muscovites unfazed by rising nuclear rhetoric
- This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.
MOSCOW, March 28 (Reuters) - Electronic billboards in Moscow tell the public what to pack for a nuclear emergency, and President Vladimir Putin periodically warns darkly that Russia is ready to use its ultimate deterrent - but Muscovites seem to be taking it all in their stride.
"I don’t think anything will happen, if you mean a nuclear threat," said Andrey, 47, who declined to give his surname, standing under one of the billboards, at the entrance to Moscow's Gorky Park on Tuesday.
"And if nothing is going to happen, why should we prepare for that?"
Since Russia sent armed forces into Ukraine just over a year ago, and Western countries responded by sending Ukraine conventional weapons, Putin has said he will use all the means at his disposal if Russia is sufficiently threatened - even though Western countries deny any such threat.
"No, those warnings don’t scare me and don’t change my attitude towards the world, people and our president," said Yulia Gorodnyanskaya, 38.
"I think we live in the safest country in the world. Our potential is very high and I'm more than confident in our army and the weaponry our country has. No country in the world has as many weapons as us, and such well-made weapons."
Above her head, a video sequence listed the essentials for an "emergency briefcase," including a radio and food and water for three days.
The Emergencies Ministry says it has been publicising the drill for years - but that people have only just started noticing it.
"Our mentality is such that people wouldn’t do anything until all hell breaks loose. That's why I think it's good to inform people and prepare them," said 30-year-old Moscow resident Vladimir, also declining to give his surname.
Alexey Pulkarov, 33, had checked the distance to his nearest nuclear shelter.
"It’s so far away that I won’t be able to reach it," he said. "But I’m relaxed about it."
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