No, you didn’t misread that. And, no, this isn’t hyperbole, a scare tactic or a false lure to entice you to click on the link.

And it’s not an example of alarmism, as nothing could be more genuinely alarming than the current, ever-worsening, tensions between the world’s two major nuclear powers and the global military bloc dominated by the one which is unilaterally exacerbating those tensions.

The precise statement is one by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, a person not noted for exaggeration or dramatization, posted on the online site of TASS, the Russian government news agency, on March 14.

It reads verbatim: “Why doesn’t [the West] dare to unleash direct aggression [against Russia]? Just for one simple reason: because in recent years Russia has built a system of defense that makes it impossible for them to do that. And they understand it quite well.”

It doesn’t seem conceivable that any other conclusions can be drawn from those words but that:

Except for Russian air, anti-missile and cyber defense systems the West, the U.S. and NATO, would already have attacked Russia.

That such an attack or attacks would not have been defensive but incontestably offensive in nature.

That, as no context was mentioned, nor needs to be given the West’s military encirclement and unrelenting antagonizing of Russia, such attacks would have been launched for no other reason than to weaken or downright eliminate Russia as a military power and even a political entity.

Zakharova went on to state that the “kinetic” military option being at least temporarily and as far as it can be determined at the moment not in the works, the U.S. and NATO have shifted to war in the fifth battlespace, cyber warfare.

What the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman failed to address, though, is the transparently irrefutable fact that cyber warfare is designed exactly to cripple and neutralize an adversary’s defenses in the computer age. Taking Russian military communications offline is the equivalent of a massive kinetic first strike against both the nation’s anti-aircraft and anti-missile assets and any remaining means of deterrence and retaliation. The global U.S. and NATO so-called missile defense system is designed to assist in achieving the second objective.

Zakharova also recently spoke of Washington’s plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Japan, which still has an unresolved territorial dispute with Russia over the Kuril Islands that one can expect the new American administration to exploit and exacerbate as it is most every regional and other conflict involving Russia from Libya to the Ukraine, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, from the Caucasus to Syria.

Concerning this provocation Zakharova said: “In this connection, we want to point out again that the deployment of American land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, regardless of what they carry, in various parts of the world, including in the Asia-Pacific Region, would have an immensely destabilising effect, in terms of international and regional security.”

To what degree the world has systematically ignored the U.S. and NATO’s warlike moves against Russia and to what extent those who were paying attention to them have become inured to or lapsed into fatalistic acceptance of them, or a combination of the two, is a topic for historians in the future. If there is a future and if there will be historians. The late Stephen Cohen repeatedly warned that the ongoing U.S.-Russian conflict is more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. In January the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set its Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight.

Imagine for a moment the response in the U.S. and throughout the world if tomorrow State Department Spokesman Ned Price were to publicly state:

“Why doesn’t [Russia] dare to unleash direct aggression [against the U.S.]? Just for one simple reason: because in recent years the U.S. has built a system of defense that makes it impossible for them to do that. And they understand it quite well.”

Then followed that up with:

“In this connection, we want to point out again that the deployment of Russian land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles [including to Cuba or Mexico, say], regardless of what they carry, in various parts of the world [emphasis added], including in the Caribbean Region, would have an immensely destabilizing effect in terms of international and regional security.”

It’s not difficult to imagine the banner headlines in every major newspaper in the world in response to those statements. It’s in that manner that the world, at the moment stupefied and negligent alike, needs to attend to the above threat.