Putin is apparently starting his rebuilding of the USSR with Crimea. And NOW, his propagandists are crowing about Russia's nuclear weapons arsenal and turning the USA in to radioactive dust. Of course it is going this route.
There are two things to consider:
1. The Russian military is not spectacular by any stretch. But they have nukes.
2. Russia's economy is dependent on natural gas and oil exports.
As the Russians stated, they can turn the US in to ash. As for Europe, well they are loving that cheap Russian gas and oil. Any action by Europe against Russia will trigger an embargo. Europe and Russia will play chicken to see who blinks first.
So how would one deal with this? Wouldn't it be nice if there were some kind of counter measure against Russian ICBMs? It would have to be some place strategically located in Europe. Maybe, Finland, or I know! Poland. It would be a shield against missiles. We could call it a "missile shield." I seem to remember we were working on a program like that. I wonder what happened to it? Something about flexibility...
Then there's Russia's monopoly on oil and natural gas. I'm pretty sure Russia would think twice if Europe to rally another source of natural resources. If only they weren't the only game in town. I hear that Canada and northern US states are pulling a lot of oil and natural gas these days. If only there were some kind of pipeline to get it to a major US port... I thought there was some kind of project called the Keystone pipeline that was going to do that. I wonder what happened to that?