ure as night follows day, every new presumed Russian atrocity – the Skripal poisoning, for instance – brings the hoary old accusation in its wake. Russia is on a fast track back to the Cold War Soviet Union, or indeed – woe is us – is already there. The claim comes with various adornments: today’s Russia is a totalitarian dictatorship; Vladimir Putin is a latter-day Stalin. Russia’s double objective, so it goes on, is to oppress its own people and divide and conquer the west in the shape of Nato or the European Union.
Today’s more discerning cold warriors accept that the present ice age is different in many respects from the old. But they still insist that the confrontation of two blocs representing diametrically opposed values systems (open vs closed, altruistic vs selfish, defensive vs aggressive, free vs enslaved, good vs bad) is in essence the same. A bear may smile and wave its paws in the air, but it is still a bear.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies