I don’t think there’s much question about it. Even if they think it’s unlikely, Russia thinks war is possible enough that steps are required.
Citing routine drills, Russia has even moved missiles within striking range of NATO targets, into the Kaliningrad enclave bordering Poland and Lithuania.
Meanwhile, CNN informs us that:
“Moscow abruptly left a nuclear security pact, citing U.S. aggression, and moved nuclear-capable Iskandar missiles to the edge of NATO territory in Europe. Its officials have openly raised the possible use of nuclear weapons.”
… Let us remember, Russia still has enough nuclear weapons to destroy civilization multiple times. So does the US. The Russians have been quite explicit that if they start losing a conventional war, they WILL use tac nukes, and it is a short step up from there to strategic nukes.
Over Syria? Over the Ukraine and Crimea, which were part of Russia for centuries and are clearly in their sphere of influence?
Russia Is Preparing For War