War mobilization, ramped up armaments production, and a looming apocalypse.
As the long winter sets in, the rhetoric in Moscow is becoming increasingly -- and alarmingly -- bellicose.
Consider the following:
School administrators in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk have been given instructions on how to operate under wartime conditions, mass mobilization, and martial law.
At a highly publicized meeting with military officials and defense contractors in Sochi last week, Vladimir Putin instructed large corporations to be prepared to increase their production of military goods.
At the same meeting, Putin extended Russia's $325 billion armaments program through 2027.
And not to be outdone, Patriarch Kirill recently warned that the apocalypse "is already visible to the naked eye" and that the world risked slipping into "the abyss at the end of history."
In some sense, this is all pretty much par for the course and signs of the times.
In fact, with all the bellicose rhetoric coming out of Moscow since the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Russia's intervention in the Donbas, and the ensuing confrontation with the West, none of these things are particularly surprising when considered individually.
But taken together, and coming in rapid succession as Putin prepares for next year's election, these data points suggest that "fortress Russia" will be a central theme in his campaign.
The Putin regime doesn't want voters thinking about declining living standards and corruption -- it wants them focused on the external enemy.
So despite the alarming rhetoric, the Kremlin is probably not preparing for a new war.
It's pretty much got its hands full with the ones it's already started.
Instead, it's simply gearing up for another psy-op on its own people.
Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.