Russia and US Enemies: Biden Warns of Ukraine Conflict Escalation

Russia and US Enemies: Biden Warns of Ukraine Conflict Escalation

by Kiril Krastanoff

Last week, a sharp rise in geopolitical tensions occurred, particularly between Russia and the United States. In a dramatic move, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, declared the US an “enemy” state in a press brief on Tuesday, which marks a significant escalation in rhetoric following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

The exact words of Putin’s secretary, “We are now an enemy country for them, just as they are for us,” mark the first time in history that Russia has referred to the US as an enemy. The remark follows President Joe Biden allowing the Ukrainian military to use US-made weapons to strike inside Russian territory and the surrounding Kyiv area. 

At the same time, reports from the Russian Ministry of Defence claimed that long-range weapon systems were used to strike inside Russian territory. These moves raise serious questions about the future of US-Russia relations and the potential for broader conflict. Meanwhile, the situation in Ukraine continues to be a flashpoint. 

At MIRA Safety, we remain committed to keeping you informed on emerging global threats and developments so you can make the right decisions and prepare accordingly. This article will also examine the historical context of US-Russia relations and what led to this recent steep deterioration in communication. 


  • 01

    Historical Context of US-Russia Relations

  • 02

    Implications of Biden's Warning of Russia

  • 03

    Ukraine Strikes Inside Russia with US Support

  • 04

    New Sanctions and Their Geopolitical Impact

  • 05

    A National Security Perspective

  • 06

    Threats of Nuclear War and Use of Chemical Weapons

  • 06

    Concluding Insights

    Historical Context of US-Russia Relations

    To recognize how US-Russia relations have come to this point today, we have to consider the history of both nations and the events that helped shape and define our policy today. Although it's not feasible to cover every interaction in detail, we can instead look toward the major events that had the greatest impact on shaping foreign policy. 

    Pre-Cold War Relations

    While the Cold War defined the latter half of the 20th century, a brief period of cooperation preceded it. During World War II, the US and the Soviet Union, then led by Joseph Stalin, found themselves as unlikely allies against Nazi Germany. This alliance, however, was always strained by ideological differences. 

    Following the war's conclusion, the world became divided into spheres of influence: the US promoting democracy and capitalism and the Soviet Union advocating for communism. This ideological divide, fueled by mutual suspicion, ultimately set the stage for the Cold War. 

    Relationships during the Cold War and after the Collapse of the Soviet Union 

    For the past 60 years, US-Russia relations have been defined by a tense dance between competition and cooperation. The Cold War, spanning from the late 1940s to the early 1990s, saw the two superpowers locked in an ideological struggle, wielding nuclear arsenals and vying for global influence. This period was marked by periods of high tension, like the Cuban Missile Crisis, punctuated by attempts at arms control and dialogue. 

    The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 ushered in a period of cautious optimism. The US saw an opportunity to integrate Russia into the global order, with hopes of a more cooperative relationship. There were initial signs of progress, with collaboration on issues like nuclear non-proliferation. However, these gains proved fragile. 

    Several factors contributed to the current state of animosity. NATO's eastward expansion, viewed by Russia as a threat to its security sphere, was a major source of friction. Additionally, US interventions in Iraq and other countries, and its support for pro-Western movements in former Soviet states like Georgia and Ukraine, further strained relations. Russia's own actions, including its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and alleged interference in US elections, further deepened the rift. 

    The remarks made today by Putin's secretary show that increasingly assertive leadership also played a role. He views the US as seeking to undermine Russia's global

    standing and influence. This culminated in the recent declaration by Peskov, marking a new low point in US-Russia relations. 

    The Ukraine War and Its Impact 

    Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine dramatically escalated tensions between Russia and the West. It marked a turning point in the global security environment, away from the unipolar dominance of the United States and toward renewed competition between major powers. 

    The war has also had a devastating human cost, with tens of thousands dead or wounded and millions displaced. Beyond the immediate conflict, the war in Ukraine has major implications for the future of European security. 

    A Ukrainian victory could embolden other former Soviet states to pursue closer ties with the West, while a Russian victory could lead to a reshaping of the regional order in Russia's favor. The war has also highlighted the importance of maintaining a strong and united Western alliance in the face of Russian aggression. 

    With this information in mind, the US made a strategic decision to extend its support to Ukraine as well as take measures to impede Russia's plans. 

    The reaction to the war in terms of US policy could be summarized in these actions: 

    • Increased Sanctions: The US and its allies responded with crippling sanctions on Russia, further isolating the nation and its leadership. 
    • Military Aid: The US has also provided significant military aid to Ukraine, further antagonizing Russia and raising the specter of a wider conflict. 

    The major issue with the Ukraine conflict is that it represents a powder keg, where one wrong misstep by either side could lead to a kinetic chain of events, possibly culminating in a nuclear exchange. 

    How History Shapes Current Tensions 

    Tensions are currently near the peak, as the weaponry the US supplied to the Ukrainian forces was authorized for use to strike targets in mainland Russia. Previously, Ukraine was only permitted to use these weapons to strike invading forces within their borders to prevent further escalation. 

    Ukraine recognizes the necessity of utilizing long-range weapons and artillery to strike within Russia as a justifiable tactical objective. Ukraine views such restraints as unnecessary, as their own fight to survive and repel the Russian invasion is an existential threat, regardless of the outcome of such escalation.

    Implications of Biden Warning Russia

    While NATO has been steadily supporting Ukraine with financial, military, and humanitarian aid, Russia views these as acts of escalation, endangering their sovereignty and existence. 

    President Joe Biden's Recent Statements 

    During a recent meeting in Paris, Biden issued a stern warning to Vladimir Putin to stop his aggressive pursuits in Ukraine. 

    Here is what we know so far about the US president's statements: 

    • Biden's remarks underscore the gravity of the current conflict, framing it as not just a regional crisis but a broader threat to European stability. 
    • His assertion that "all of Europe will be threatened" if Russia is not stopped highlights the strategic importance of Ukraine's defense in maintaining the balance of power in Europe. 
    • Biden's commitment to "standing strong with Ukraine" and his pledge that the United States "will not walk away" from its ally underscores a steadfast US policy against Russian expansionism. 

    Potential Scenarios of Conflict Escalation 

    Biden's warning points to several potential scenarios of conflict escalation. If Russia continues its aggressive actions beyond Ukraine, neighboring countries — particularly those with historical tensions with Russia — might be the next targets, leading to a broader regional conflict. 

    This could necessitate a stronger NATO response, possibly involving direct military engagements or expanded military aid to affected nations. Biden's assertion also raises the specter of cyber warfare, economic sanctions, and other non-traditional forms of conflict extending into Western Europe. 

    Macron’s discussion about potentially placing trainers on the ground in Ukraine, despite US opposition to such moves, illustrates the varied approaches and possible friction among allies regarding how far they should go in confronting Russia. 

    Impacts on international relations 

    Biden's statements and the unified stance with France reinforce the importance of transatlantic unity in the face of Russian aggression. However, differences in strategies between the US and France reveal underlying tensions within the alliance. 

    France's willingness to push the envelope, as evidenced by Macron’s advocacy for increased support and a potential ground presence, contrasts with the US’s cautious approach to avoid

    direct confrontation with Russia. This divergence could influence diplomatic dynamics within NATO and the EU, testing the resilience of these alliances under the strain of prolonged conflict. 

    Ukraine Strikes Inside Russia with US Support

    Ukraine has long been a critical player in European security. It was the second-most populous and powerful republic in the Soviet Union, and its independence in 1991 was a major blow to Russia's standing as a superpower. 

    Since then, Ukraine has sought to forge its own path as a sovereign state, increasingly aligning itself with the West through institutions like the EU and NATO. This westward shift has been a major irritant to Russia, which views Ukraine as central to its identity and geopolitical influence. 

    Ukraine's strategic importance stems from a confluence of factors: its resource wealth, geographic location, and historical role as a buffer zone. 

    Here are some major reasons that Ukraine is a strategic powerhouse: 

    • Historical Buffer Zone: Throughout history, Ukraine has acted as a buffer zone between Russia and Europe. A strong and independent Ukraine can deter Russian expansionism westward and promote regional stability. The ongoing war can be seen in this context, with Russia aiming to reassert its influence and Western nations supporting Ukraine's sovereignty. 
    • Resource-Rich Land: Ukraine's vast, fertile plains hold some of the world's most productive soil, making it a major agricultural producer and exporter of grain, particularly wheat and corn. It also boasts significant reserves of minerals and industrial resources critical to various industries. 
    • Geographic Crossroads: Located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, Ukraine serves as a crucial land bridge for trade and transportation routes. It borders Russia to the north and east and several European Union member states to the west. This positioning makes Ukraine a vital link between Europe and Asia for goods and resources. 

    Military Actions and US Weapons Used 

    In recent developments, Ukraine has utilized US-supplied weapons to conduct strikes inside Russian territory, specifically targeting Russian forces attacking or preparing to attack Kharkiv. 

    This marks a notable shift in the dynamics of the conflict, underscored by Biden’s recent directive allowing such defensive measures. The weapons used include the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which has demonstrated its effectiveness in striking targets

    from long range. These actions are grounded in the necessity to protect Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, which lies perilously close to the Russian border and has been subject to relentless Russian assaults. 

    The Significance of Striking Inside Russia 

    The significance of these strikes cannot be understated. By permitting Ukrainian forces to target Russian military positions within Russia, the US is signaling a robust stance in support of Ukraine’s right to defend its territory. 

    This policy adjustment highlights a more aggressive defensive strategy aimed at neutralizing threats before they escalate into more significant attacks on Ukrainian soil: 

    • The US Department of State reaffirmed US support for Ukraine, marking the second year after the invasion, and didn't comment on limits imposed on how US weapons could be used by Ukraine. 
    • Republican Senator Mike Rounds affirmed this stance, expressing support for the use of US-provided artillery to preemptively counter Russian threats. 
    • This move not only boosts Ukraine's defensive capabilities but also serves as a deterrent to further Russian advances, potentially altering Moscow's strategic calculus. 
    • Furthermore, these actions have profound international implications. Germany, following the US lead, has also authorized Ukraine to use its long-range weapons to strike certain targets on Russian soil. 

    This coordinated approach among Western allies underscores a united front in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and security. 

    However, it also raises the stakes, with Putin warning that such measures could provoke retaliatory actions, including the provision of long-range arms to adversaries of the West. 

    New Sanctions and Their Geopolitical Impact

    Very soon after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the US and many other countries imposed an array of sanctions, gradually increasing in severity, primarily aimed at disrupting the economic capacity of Russia and limiting its weapons manufacturing sector. 

    The goals of these sanctions were believed to make the cost of extended conflict for Russia prohibitively high, pressuring them to de-escalate the conflict. 

    Here are some of the key reasons for the sanctions imposed:

    • Sanctions on technology exports and restrictions on resources like oil and gas development aim to hinder Russia's military capabilities. 
    • Limiting access to advanced technology could slow down Russia’s military development and production, while restrictions on resources could impact its ability to fuel military operations. 
    • The sanctions aim to create a multipronged attack on Russia's ability to financially support its war effort and maintain its military strength. 

    Overview of New Sanctions Imposed by the US 

    The US continued to add new sanctions against Russia throughout 2023. These sanctions target a range of entities, including: 

    • Individuals and companies: High-ranking officials, oligarchs close to Putin, and companies involved in Russia's military-industrial complex and energy sector (as of May 2023). 
    • Financial institutions: Additional Russian banks, such as JSC Commercial Bank Solidarnost, Tinkoff Bank, and others (as of July 2023). 
    • Technology and Resources: Restrictions on exports of goods and services that could support Russia's development of energy resources, particularly in areas like deepwater, Arctic offshore, and shale projects (ongoing). 

    Restricted access to financial institutions and limitations on trade could make it difficult for Russia to raise funds and conduct business internationally. These ongoing sanctions aim to further isolate Russia economically and limit its ability to fund its war effort. 

    How Sanctions Affect Russia and the Global Economy 

    The sanctions have had a significant impact on Russia, causing its economy to contract and its currency to weaken. They have also disrupted global supply chains, particularly for energy commodities like oil and gas. This has contributed to rising energy prices worldwide. 

    The impact of sanctions on the global economy is complex. While they are intended to pressure Russia, they can also have negative consequences for other countries. For instance, higher energy prices can lead to inflation and slower economic growth for countries that rely on Russian oil and gas imports. 

    Long-term Implications for International Trade and Relations 

    The sanctions imposed on Russia are likely to have long-term implications for international trade and relations. They could lead to a more fragmented global economy, with countries increasingly looking to trade with allies and partners who share their values.

    This could also lead to a shift in power dynamics between countries, with the US and its allies potentially wielding greater economic leverage. 

    It is important to note that the situation is still evolving, and the full impact of the sanctions remains to be seen in the long term, where the effects of such changes become more apparent. 

    A National Security Perspective

    National security strategy refers to a nation's plan to address potential threats using its political, economic, military, and informational power. The main goal is to safeguard the country's interests and its citizens' well-being. 

    US National Security Strategies Concerning Russia 

    We can examine the official Biden-Harris Administration's National Security Strategy, which outlines a comprehensive approach to safeguarding national interests while addressing global challenges: 

    • The 2022 National Security Strategy identifies Russia as a major threat alongside China. It highlights Russia's efforts to undermine US interests and democratic values. 
    • The US strategy focuses on deterring Russian aggression, countering its malign activities, and promoting democratic reforms within Russia. 

    Russia’s Defensive and Offensive Strategies 

    The National Security Strategy acknowledges Russia as a key actor in the global security landscape, necessitating a deep understanding of its defensive and offensive strategies. Russia's military doctrine emphasizes both nuclear and conventional capabilities, designed to deter adversaries and assert its influence regionally and globally. 

    This includes significant investments in advanced missile systems, cyber warfare, and information operations aimed at destabilizing adversaries and projecting power. 

    Defensively, Russia prioritizes the modernization of its military infrastructure and the enhancement of its air defense systems to protect against external threats. 

    This strategy is complemented by efforts to fortify its borders and maintain a strong presence in strategic regions such as the Arctic. Offensively, Russia leverages asymmetric tactics, including cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns, to undermine the political stability of other nations and create divisions within alliances like NATO.

    How Both Countries Prepare for Potential Conflicts 

    In preparing for potential conflicts, both the United States and Russia adopt multifaceted approaches that combine military readiness with strategic alliances and technological advancements. 

    United States 

    The U.S. focuses on maintaining a highly capable and adaptable military force supported by cutting-edge technology and robust intelligence capabilities. 

    • This preparation includes significant investments in cyber defense, space security, and advanced weaponry. 
    • The U.S. also prioritizes building and sustaining alliances through organizations such as NATO, ensuring a coordinated and collective defense posture. 
    • Additionally, the U.S. emphasizes the importance of economic resilience and energy security, recognizing that these are critical components of national security in the face of global threats. 


    Russia's preparation for potential conflicts is characterized by a strong emphasis on military modernization and the development of strategic deterrence capabilities. 

    • This includes enhancing its nuclear arsenal, developing hypersonic weapons, and expanding its cyber warfare capabilities. 
    • Russia also focuses on creating strategic buffers through regional influence and maintaining a robust defense infrastructure. 
    • The use of hybrid warfare tactics, such as cyber attacks and disinformation, is central to Russia's strategy to weaken adversaries without engaging in direct military confrontation. 

    Threats of Nuclear War and Use of Chemical Weapons

    The threat of nuclear war has loomed over the conflict in Ukraine since Russia's invasion in February 2022. Russia has repeatedly used nuclear rhetoric, both implicitly and explicitly, to deter Western intervention in Ukraine. This includes statements about Russia's nuclear doctrine, putting its nuclear forces on high alert, and conducting tests of nuclear missiles.


    Possibility of Nuclear War and Its Global Impact 

    Experts are worried that Russia might resort to using nuclear weapons if it faces significant setbacks on the battlefield or if the conflict expands. This would have catastrophic global consequences, causing widespread death and destruction. 

    The most likely scenario involving the use of nuclear weapons by Russia would involve a limited strike, targeting military facilities in Ukraine, as a means to lessen global backlash and reduce the threat of retaliation. 

    So far, Putin has shown restraint and only used nuclear powers as verbal threats; however, if the Russian leadership feels like its existence is under threat, it would undoubtedly resort to using its nuclear arsenal. 

    While seeing nukes used again as weapons of war after the bombing of Japan in World War II is a terrifying scenario, in the long term, it doesn't benefit either Russia or NATO, as neither side wishes for a complete nuclear exchange. 

    Note: We have a dedicated article on the topic of Surviving World War III, which you might find useful after reading about the latest escalations between Russia and the US. 

    Risks and Consequences of Using Chemical Weapons in Ukraine 

    The use of chemical weapons, such as those alleged to have been used by Russia against Ukrainian troops, poses significant risks and consequences that span humanitarian, legal, and geopolitical domains. 

    Even though such weapons are strictly prohibited under international law, specifically the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to which Russia is a party, there is no telling what a country can resort to if an all-out war breaks out.

    How Can I Protect Myself from CBRN Threats? 

    At MIRA Safety, we offer a complete Military Gas Mask & Nuclear Survival Kit that was specially developed to address the need for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threat protection. 

    Here is what the kit contains: 

    • Military-grade gas mask 
    • Compatible NBC-77 SOF CBRN filter 
    • Potassium Iodine tablets for use during nuclear emergencies
    • Easy-to-use leg-mounting pouch. 

    Our kit is easy to store in your house or car for time preparedness. In addition to major nuclear or chemical catastrophes, this gas mask kit is useful in cases of fire or poor air quality. 

    International Response to These Threats 

    The war in Ukraine has reignited global anxieties about nuclear weapons. While the exact likelihood of Russia deploying a limited nuclear strike remains a subject of intense debate, the international community has made clear its strong opposition to such a scenario. 

    • Leaders around the world have repeatedly warned of the catastrophic consequences, emphasizing not just the immediate devastation in Ukraine but also the potential for wider escalation and radioactive fallout impacting distant regions. 
    • Despite these warnings, Russia has occasionally hinted at the possibility of using nuclear weapons, particularly in response to increased Western military support for Ukraine. 
    • While providing Ukraine with the means to defend itself, nations are also working to maintain channels of communication with Russia and avoid actions perceived as overly provocative that could push Putin toward a nuclear option. 

    The situation in Ukraine has undoubtedly prompted global leaders to work out creative means to re-establish de-escalation and communication channels with the Kremlin, as ultimately, none benefit from the catastrophe that a large-scale war in Europe would cause. 

    While it's easy to become overly pessimistic, we have to remember that all conflicts eventually end, as the economic burden of sustaining war is too great. As history has taught us, working toward peace and common goals is a stronger incentive than using violence, which only creates rifts in a world that would be better off unified. 

    The choices of American and Russian policymakers have a profound impact on Europe and the whole world, as all markets and trade are interconnected. Suppose Russia is further alienated from any diplomatic or trade relations with the US and Europe — in that case, it will only embolden the notion of a non-unipolar world order, where other countries fearful or a strong-handed approach would come together to match the opposite sphere of influence. 

    Concluding Insights

    The recent escalation in tensions between the United States and Russia marks a significant and dangerous turning point in global politics.

    The declaration by Putin's press secretary that the US is now an "enemy" of Russia, coupled with the US's support for Ukraine in striking inside Russian territory, underscores the deepening animosity and the high stakes of the ongoing conflict. 

    Both sides should strive for a diplomatic resolution as the situation demands careful analysis and strategic planning to avoid catastrophic consequences. 

    Here is a summary of key points throughout this article: 

    • The US and Russia have reached a new low in relations, with direct verbal confrontations and military actions highlighting the severity of the situation. 
    • The strained relationship between the US and Russia has deep roots in ideological differences, historical conflicts, and recent geopolitical developments such as NATO's expansion and Russia's aggressive actions. 
    • Ukraine's significance as a geopolitical buffer and resource-rich territory makes it a central player in this conflict. The US's support for Ukraine is part of a broader strategy to counter Russian influence. 
    • The US has provided military aid to Ukraine, including allowing the use of US weapons to strike inside Russia. This has been met with strong rhetoric from Moscow, indicating the potential for further escalation. 
    • The US and its allies have imposed severe sanctions on Russia, aiming to cripple its economy and limit its military capabilities. These sanctions have wide-reaching effects on global economics and international relations. 

    Future outlook and potential resolutions 

    Worst Case Scenario — Continued Escalation: If the current trajectory continues, we could see increased military engagements, potentially drawing in more countries and leading to a broader conflict. This scenario heightens the risk of nuclear or chemical weapon use, which would have catastrophic global consequences. 

    Stalemate or Neutral Scenario: The conflict could reach a point where neither side makes significant gains, leading to a prolonged, frozen conflict. This would result in sustained instability in the region and ongoing humanitarian crises. 

    Best Case Scenario — Diplomatic Resolution: The best-case scenario involves renewed diplomatic efforts leading to a negotiated settlement. This would require concessions from both sides and the involvement of international mediators to ensure a fair and lasting peace. 

    Regardless of how this situation unfolds, it will, without a doubt, leave a long-lasting scar that further divides West from East. Prolonged sanctions and international pressure could further isolate Russia economically and politically, potentially leading to internal changes within the Russian government and a shift in its foreign policy. 

    Note: Check out our detailed Nuclear Map Article to find out about nuclear facilities in your vicinity within the US, as well as how to evade nuclear threats should the worst scenario unfold.