Russia and Australia should be partners in the Asia-Pacific. Instead Canberra seems perennially paranoid about the Russian threat. Such a mindset is nearly as old as Australia.
In the 1850s at the height of the Crimean War – fought primarily between Russia and Britain – Australia was gripped by paranoia of a Russian invasion. As rumours spread that the Russian Navy had invaded the port of Melbourne, the British colony started building coastal fortifications to repulse the invasion – that never came.