1. Russia's nuclear weapons sufficiently deter its opponents.

  2. Russia suffers from a persecution complex.

Evidence for Russia's fear

  1. Russia itself has hankered after buffer zones and states like Belarus and Ukraine.

  2. The European Plain makes Russia vulnerable and indefensible, as in past invasions of Russia.

  3. From Ukraine, an enemy can cut off Russia's access to the Black Sea and Southern Russia.

My questions

  1. But who's itching to invade Russia? Who can even invade Russia sufficiently? Who would risk mutual assured destruction, a nuclear apocalpyse, and human extinction?

  2. If the answer to question 6 above is no, then why does Russia still suffer from a persecution complex?

  • 2
    I am not sure you can equate claims of fear of invasion as actual fear of invasion as it is just one of the many claims that have been made to justify their actions. Also there doesn't have to be anyone who is "itching" to invade Russia for them to have fear of it happening as it is very possible to have a fear of something that isn't based in reality. As for why they feel this way if it that is how they truly feel that is very hard to answer.
    – Joe W
    Mar 12, 2022 at 23:11
  • @JoeW: it doesn't matter so much what Russia itself says. It's a popular enough narrative in the West. See e.g. this pretty upvoted answer politics.stackexchange.com/a/70902/18373 (20 upvotes and based on a youtube video), centered on that fear of "invasion though the plains" (by NATO). Mar 12, 2022 at 23:20
  • 1
    @JoeW: and a more serious looking article based on the same premise theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/… Mar 12, 2022 at 23:27
  • Since there are a number of votes to reopen, I'm curious in what ways the suggested duplicate doesn't answer this question?
    – divibisan
    Mar 14, 2022 at 20:38
  • 1
    @divibisan: "care about NATO troops" is much weaker. Russia e.g. protested that AWACS from Latvia can see "deep" in its territory, or that missiles from that US base in Romania may stop its own ICBMs etc. Those protests/claims aren't about (a ground) invasion. Also, the 1st/top-voted answer there is incredibly bland, that not having forces in contact reduces the risk of an accident. I honestly can't recall when Russia last said that was the reason for NATO to withdraw. Mar 15, 2022 at 0:08