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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Raised False Alarm Over Quake

The United States was always attacking the Soviet Union for substituting propaganda for objective news in its reporting on the rest of the world, but it seems the White House was doing much the same this summer when it issued an alert that Russia may have tested an underground nuclear device without warning.

Even though it was widely known that the area was prone to seismic activity, U.S. officials asserted that a tremor detected under the Kara Sea on Russian territory could have been the result of a nuclear explosion.

Along with the United States and China, Russia was one of 146 signatories to the nuclear test ban treaty, which specifically forbids the sort of nuclear explosions the United States was alleging Russia had conducted.

It seems incredible that the United States would not have carefully weighed all the scientific evidence and sought confidential explanations from Russia before going public with such a serious allegation.

Yet, according to civilian seismologists who were monitoring the same tremors that caused the panic in the White House, there were never any solid grounds for accusing Russia of what would have been a major breach of faith.

Even now, after the Russian Nuclear Power Ministry has categorically denied that an explosion took place, the U.S. security establishment has not admitted a mistake.

This diplomatic flap is particularly depressing because it fits into a pattern of reports emanating from the U.S. security establishment that suggest Russia is a perfidious and unreliable partner.

Not only has the United States accused Russia of breaking a solemn nuclear test ban treaty, top officials have suggested Russia is facilitating the spread of organized crime worldwide and is breaking promises it gave not to sell missiles to Iran.

Even if some of these charges are partly true, much of what is coming from the U.S. security establishment sounds like anti-Russian propaganda concocted by superannuated Cold Warriors who are trying to justify their existence in a world where the United States does not face any major threats.

The phantom nuclear explosion in the arctic suggests that even people in the White House are starting to listen to this propaganda rather than treat Russia as a trustworthy if troubled partner.

The U.S. government should be taking its security forces to task over this. The Kremlin understands well the intention behind the leaks and semi-official reports against Russia.

The report of the phantom earthquake should be checked carefully, and those in the Pentagon who circulate this sort of information should be made aware how damaging it could be to Russian-U.S. relations.