One of the first indicators of Russia preparing for a full-scale turn into dictatorship and a global war was the mass production of books praising Stalin and Stalinism and welcoming upcoming war against the West. These books appeared on Russian bookshelves in early 2010s. [The titles included] "Be proud, not sorry! Truth about Stalin Age" "Stalinist's Handbook", "Stalin's Repressions: A Great Lie" and "Beria: Best XXCent Manager."
Later came a wave of titles depicting war with the west over Ukraine:
Soon after, Kremlin started publishing what they called "battle fantastic". Mass-produced low-quality books about Russian military superiority in all possible conflicts. Then whole book series appeared.
Here is what Sumlenny says is an entirely typical back-of-the-book summary:
WW3 starts on Kyiv Maidan! Nato "Peacekeepers" start Baderites genocide of Russians, wiping out the whole cities. Polava does not exist anymore. Novorossiya fights back, Russia helps! We take Kyiv! It is our final battle!
This is so wild that I spent about half an hour researching Sumlenny before I posted it; so far as I can tell he is a legitimate analyst who has appeared at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and so on. In other tweets he covers Russian movies with similar themes.
As so often, it turns out that regimes telegraph their upcoming evil moves years in advance.