So there was Russian president Vladimir Putin talking to young people at a summer camp on Friday about Ukraine, and reminding them — and the rest of the world — that Russia is one of the world’s leading nuclear powers, and “it’s best not to mess with us.” (See National Post report.)

According to one TV report, the young people asked scripted questions, so no one asked the rather obvious one, i.e.: “Mr. Putin, are you saying you would be prepared to set off World War III, and have hundreds of millions of people die — including all of the young people in this camp — over Ukraine?”

The Russian president had prefaced his comments with this: “Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia.”

And I doubt anyone is. But one has to wonder about Mr. Putin. Was he just rattling a sabre? Or is he so irresponsible that he would destroy civilization and the human race as we currently know it if he can’t have his way?

It also has to make you wonder why we, the human race, still allow individuals like Mr. Putin to have the ability to plunge the world into the abyss.

As that old song by Sting goes . . .

“I hope the Russians love their children, too.”

– Jillian