The well-respected Russian military analyst Aleksandr Goltz published an article in the Russian independent media outlet Ej.ru, titled "'Cold War' is Now Reality," analyzing Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech State of the Nation Address. According to Goltz, Putin's speech marks the beginning of a new "cold war". For this reason, the presidential address to the Federal Assembly will become a historic event, comparable to Winston Churchill's 1946 Sinews of Peace speech at Fulton Missouri where in President Harry Truman's company he declared that "an iron curtain had descended".
Goltz proceeds with a description of the several categories of super-weapons displayed by Putin to his audience, and how that same audience was thrilled by the announcement that a new Sarmat heavy missile had been develped. "I suspect that TV channels will plunge the TV-dependent population into the same delight – after all, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief suggested that the spectators invent names for our super-weapons," states Goltz.
However, Goltz believes that Putin's speech suffers from strong contradictions and wonders: "Why did the chief boss of our country, in the first part of his speech, talk about the dangers of Russia's technological lag, when our country had so many unprecedented technological breakthroughs? In particular, it created a nuclear power unit for an airborne device. This alone could make us lack for nothing for the next 20 years, allocating as much as needed to medicine and education…"
According to Goltz, it is clear that - in the midst of an electoral campaign - the chief goal of Putin's address was to launch a new wave of "militarist ecstasy", in order to put an end to all the "unpleasant questions" regarding extreme poverty in Russia, and the destruction of a mercenary convoy in Syria by the U.S.
The military analyst then adds that Putin's explanations purporting that the development of these weapons is merely a response to the U.S. withdrawak from the ABM Treaty is preposterous. "American treachery did not prevent Russia from signing not even one, but two Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties – why should the Kremlin do it if it suspected its 'partners' of an attempt to reach absolute supremacy? … The ABM Treaty is no more than an excuse to threaten the West," writes Goltz.
However, Goltz concludes that to debate whether Putin's threat is real or not ia now moot, since Washington will take it seriously. The U.S. will hence begin to develop and mass produce weapons, and Moscow will respond. "The consequences of the previous arms race are well known – it ruined the USSR. In any case, the promised growth in prosperity is hardly likely now. But is it really necessary? After all, the Russian people can always have fun inventing cool-sounding names for our invincible missiles," ironizes Goltz.
Below are excerpts from Goltz's article:
Aleksandr Goltz (Source: Newtimes.ru)
'The Chief Goal Of Putin's Campaign Address Was To Launch A New Wave Of Militarist Ecstasy'
"The chief-of-state's campaign rally state (an event that at the Putin spin doctors' whim, was shaped into the annual presidential address to the Federal Assembly) will, of course, go down as an historic event. In the same sense that Winston Churchill's Sinews of Peace speech became a historic event. It is an effective declaration of a new 'cold war'. From this perspective, it is ridiculous (to say the least) to analyze the feasibility of all that Putin said in the first part of his address. [As far as] all those promises of unprecedented economic boom, a rise in living standards, development of medicine and education, none of this is about to happen.
"This is because the second part of his speech was devoted to preparations for a military confrontation with the West, primarily with the U.S. The president informed us not about one, but about several categories of super-weapons, developed and supposedly already sent to serial production, which surpass everything that other members of the nuclear club may have. According to Putin, Moscow is creating a new heavy missile – Sarmat, which has no flight range restrictions at all capability: it can reach its target (evidently, the U.S. territory) via either the North or the South Pole. But this 200-ton missile, capable of delivering over a dozen nuclear warheads to the target is nothing compared to another super-secret innovation. It turns out that Russia has created a nuclear-powered cruise missile that again enables it to fly any distance, change its course, and use topographical features. Also there is the previously developed– Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile, which flies at a speed ten times faster than the speed of sound to a distance of over 2000 km, and can maneuver throughout all phases of its flight. Complexes equipped with this missile, as Putin has declared, have already begun their trial service in the Southern Military District. Moreover, Russia has yet another type of hypersonic cruise missiles called Avangard, which, as the president has rapturously said, flies in some 'cocoon' of plasma.
"Additionally, according to Putin, tests have been completed on unmanned underwater vehicles, also equipped with hitherto unseen nuclear power units, which surpass those on current submarines by a hundredfold. And these underwater drones, capable of carrying heavy-duty nuclear warheads, can destroy both aircraft carrier groups and the coastal infrastructure of the 'potential adversary'. Also, we have combat lasers, sort of like the Putin Death Ray. All this militarist science fiction was accompanied by cartoons (we learned this from Kim Jong-un), in which missiles from various points were flying you know where. The audience was thrilled beyond words. I suspect that TV channels will plunge the TV-dependent population into the same delight – after all, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief suggested that the spectators invent names for our super-weapons.
"It is unlikely that those who are now in a militaristic frenzy asked themselves a simple question: why did the ultimate boss of our country, in the first part of his speech, talk about the dangers of Russia's technological gap, when our country scored so many unprecedented technological breakthroughs? In particular, it created a nuclear power unit for an airborne device. This alone could make us lack for nothing for the next 20 years, allocating as much as needed to medicine and education…
"In any case, it is clear: the chief goal of Putin's campaign address was to launch a new wave of militarist ecstasy (we can destroy everybody), thereby shutting down all the unpleasant questions regarding extreme poverty in Russia or the destruction of a mercenary convoy in Syria by the Americans. It is quite possible that Putin's escapades are a compensation for the Syrian disgrace. It is even probable that this is the new style in foreign policy – love me or I'll punch your face. If this is the case, Mr. Lavrov and his staff should pass under the control of General Shoigu. It is for this reason that Vladimir Putin promised his western 'partners' to inform them about Russia's new military capabilities. What a great task for Russian diplomats – engaging in intimidation.
'The ABM Treaty Is No More Than An Excuse To Threaten The West'
"As for the factual side of the matter, there is some basis for skepticism concerning Putin's triumphant declarations. For example, it is known that the creation of Sarmat has experienced certain difficulties. In public sources, only reports about the so-called 'pop-up' tests of the missile have appeared – i.e. tests of the ability to push the missile out of the shaft. If one takes into account the fact that Moscow and Washington must exchange information about launches, the Americans could hardly have missed the launch of Sarmat. Which means that quite soon high-ranking people in Washington at least (if not we) will know exactly to what extent Putin's declarations correspond to the facts. Nothing is known about cruise missiles with nuclear power units. And we must find out whether the craftsmen from Shoigu's ministry didn't borrow the idea from a computer game, which happens with war propagandists.
"A few years ago, information about the development of Status-6 'was leaked' from one of the president's meetings with the military. Footage shown right afterwards by several federal TV channels contained a blueprint of this unmanned underwater vehicle. At that time, the experts came to the opinion that it was some sort of 'Doomsday weapon'. The drone will be launched at the moment of a nuclear strike against Russia and should destroy both the west and east coasts of the U.S. Which was a very clear illustration of Putin's and his subordinates' mindset.
"Putin's lengthy explanations about how the creation of these wonderful weapons is merely a response to the fact that 16 years ago the perfidious Americans withdrew from the ABM Treaty and since then have been concerned exclusively with preparations to intercept our missiles, have very little to do with reality. American treachery did not prevent Russia from signing not even one, but two Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties – why should the Kremlin do it if it suspected its 'partners' of an attempt to reach full superiority? Serious scholars have proven time and time again that the American anti-missile defense system in its current form is incapable of intercepting Russian missiles, if only because American ABM interceptor missiles have a much lower speed than Russian strategic missiles – they simply cannot catch up with them.
"The ABM Treaty is no more than an excuse to threaten the West. But the Russian boss has obviously been carried away by his game. Because it is absolutely irrelevant now whether Putin is bluffing or not [as] the U.S., considering all this a serious threat, will begin the development and mass production of weapons. Moscow will have to respond. The consequences of the previous arms race are well known – it ruined the USSR. In any case, the promised greater prosperity is hardly likely now. But is it really necessary? After all, the Russian people can always get high on inventing grandiose names for our invincible missiles…"
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7363, Putin After Unveiling The Revolutionary Hypersonic Sarmat ICBM: 'Nobody Wanted To Listen To Us – So Listen Now', March 5, 2018.
See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7367, Reactions To Putin's State Of The Union Address: If What The U.S. Wants Is The Cold War, So Let It Be The Cold War – Part I, March 6, 2018.
See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7372, Russian Commentators Criticize Putin's State Of The Nation Address For Strengthening U.S. Hawks Rather Than Paving Way For Negotiations Part II, March 8, 2018.
 Ej.ru, March 1, 2018.
 This is a play on Aleksey Tolstoy's book "The Garin Death Ray" that was made into two Soviet movies.