Tensions Between Russia and USA Mount

"Russia Navy, RF-81881, Sukhoi Su-30SM" by Anna Zvereva is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In recent months, Russia-based cyberattacks have targeted US interests, which many believe is linked to the approaching US-Russia meeting.

The newest ransomware attack this week took down the U.S.-based meat factories of the world’s largest meatpacker, Brazil-based JBS. Also, the White House claimed the ransomware attack was likely perpetrated by a criminal cell located in Russia.

“HMS Dragon with Russian Aircraft Carrier ‘Admiral Kuzetsov'” by Defence Images is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Hoffman, who spent five years in Moscow, believes the attacks are a show of power in the run-up to the June 16 summit. The attack on the key meat supplier comes only weeks after a Russian-based criminal organization targeted the country’s main gasoline pipeline, the Colonial pipeline on the East Coast.

After the attack on the Colonial pipeline, the Biden administration refrained to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin. Instead, the White House claimed that they did not believe the Russian government had any involvement in the attack.

Cyber Attacks

According to White House senior deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, a criminal organization located in Russia is viewed as the culprit of a JBS ransomware attack, one of the world’s largest beef manufacturers.

The announcement came only weeks after a ransomware attack knocked out the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies fuel to much of the eastern US. Gas shortages were reported on the East Coast as a result of the attack and the firm eventually paid the ransom to restore gas flow.

Tensions over Ukraine

This all comes weeks after Putin amassed tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border. Count this as a show of force to western allies, and a threat to the USA.

The Biden administration sat on its hands. In doing so, they left the problem up to other powers like Britain who have just arrived in the black sea with their new Aircraft Carrier and 40 other NATO warships. What a massive show of force.

Both the USA and Russia have competed with each other on a global scale since the end of the second world war. Where the US outperforms Russian capabilities, such as in the military, Putin has relied on other elements, such as cyber-strikes, to maintain Russian superiority.

How Strong is Russia?

The Russian economy isn’t great; its GDP is smaller than that of Italy, sitting at only 1.7 trillion USD, while the US GDP is 21.43 trillion USD. Russia’s strength lies with its massive military, however.

The Russian Federations military is large, but operates on a much smaller budget than the USA; with spending of 42 billion dollars, it’s only 5% of the USA’s massive budget of about 740 billion dollars.

Land power is where Russia keeps its power. The country can field up to 13 thousand tanks and 27 thousand armored fighting vehicles.

Russia has the most self-propelled artillery guns in the world with over six thousand pieces, and a further four thousand towed artillery.

One would be remiss to forger their rocket artillery capabilities: the country boasts 3,800 mobile rocket projectors, a deadly weapon on the battlefield.