Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyThe rhetoric on Kremlin-funded state television is amping up the sense of urgency around Russian President Vladimir Putin’s NATO “ultimatum.” Olga Skabeeva, the host of state TV show 60 Minutes, said Tuesday: “The level of anxiety has reached its maximum. We’re 20 days away from the expiration of the ultimatum and the stakes are rising, even though it seems they couldn’t be any higher.”One day after Moscow submitted a draft of its Russia-U.S. security treaty, containing demands that NATO roll back its military deployments in Europe and deny membership to Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov threatened that Moscow would raise the stakes if the West didn’t treat its demands seriously. On Monday, he told Interfax that Russia needs answers “urgently, because the situation is very difficult.”Pro-Kremlin propagandists and state-media experts filled in the blanks with what kind of escalation should be expected. On Sunday’s edition of News of the Week, state-TV host Dmitry Kiselyov explained: “Russia… prepared and handed over to the Americans its written proposals on strategic stability, or, more simply, on the prevention of nuclear war, since we are already at a critical point, to be honest… It’s simple. The U.S. and NATO must roll back from our borders, otherwise we will, figuratively speaking, ‘roll up’ to their borders and create symmetrical, unacceptable risks… If you put a gun to our head, we will respond in kind… The whole point is that the development of the Ukrainian territory by the [Western] bloc is not only Ukraine’s business. This is a complete breakdown of the global balance, which poses an existential threat to Russia. In other words, for Russia it is a matter of life and death… We simply will not allow it, regardless of the cost to us, and regardless of the cost to those responsible for it.”Read more at The Daily Beast.