Tensions between the US and Russia are escalating to their worst levels since the Cold War as it was suggested that both sides are preparing for conflict.

Moscow has been accused of posturing to the rest of the world by prepping civilians for potential war, instructing them to check on the availability of bomb shelters and gas masks.

In response, US intelligence officials told NBC News that the CIA is preparing for a possible cyber attack on the Kremlin to embarrass its leadership.

Many defense experts believe Russia is not intent on war but is instead throwing its weight around to deter western countries from intervening with Russian bombing in Syria.

Among the ‘stunts’ carried out by the Kremlin have been state-sponsored television guides on how to prepare in the event of an attack on Russian soil.

State-controlled media has also carried news bulletins warning civilians to familiarize themselves with the nearest bomb shelters and clarifying which government bodies would take command in the breakout of war.

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Last week Russia moved nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles into one of its regions on the Baltic Sea – prompting a fearful response from Poland and Estonia.

Russia says the missiles are being deployed as part of regular military maneuvers to Kaliningrad, but it comes amid heightened tensions between the country and the West over Syria.

At the time, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Poland considers the matter of ‘highest concern’ and is monitoring the situation.

It comes as the administration of US President Barack Obama prepares for a possible cyber strike on the Kremlin.

The covert operation has been prepped to ensure that Russian hackers are unable to interfere with the Presidential vote in November, NBC News reported.

Earlier this month, reports from Moscow suggested the Kremlin had ordered officials to fly home all relatives living abroad – with some residents claiming it is ‘another step towards war’.

The Kremlin is said to have told high ranking officials to bring their loved ones back to the ‘Motherland’ immediately – with any who disobey being overlooked for promotion.

It follows a backdrop of rapidly deteriorating relations with the West over Russia’s role in the Syria conflict. Putin cancelled a planned visit to France amid a furious row.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned just days ago that the world is at a ‘dangerous point’ due to rising tensions between Russia and the US.

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