Propagandists on Russian state television have for weeks encouraged their autocratic President Vladimir Putin to obliterate cities in the United States and other Western nations with nuclear weapons over their support of Ukraine.
Experts have warned since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began two months ago that he could use tactical nuclear weapons to force Ukraine to surrender. The chances of that happening have gone up as Russia’s losses continue to mount with little to show for their efforts, and that has fueled almost daily bellicosity among Putin’s stooges.
That nationalistic furor reached a boiling point on Tuesday when Margarita Simonyan, the head of Russia Today, said that Putin will “never give up” his imperialist ambitions and that she and Putin’s other loyalists are willing to die in a nuclear war.
On Thursday, Putin’s pundits offered additional details in their bluster about how Russia can annihilate any country that it wants and that “no one would survive” World War III.
Specifically, the Russia 1 panel boasted about their nation’s new Sarmat or Satan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, a hypersonic projectile that can carry 10 atomic warheads and evade the West’s defenses.
But there appeared to be some on-air tension when the topic of deploying the Sarmat was touched upon, indicating that some of Putin’s puppets may not be all that keen on ending human civilization.
“One Sarmat missile and the British Isles are no more,” one of the hosts exclaimed. His female colleague, however, was not amused.
“But we are serious people,” she interjected.
“And I am saying that seriously,” the man continued. “They’re accusing us of state terrorism.”
There is a massive trove of evidence indicating that Russian troops have committed war crimes in Ukraine, which Russia denies.
Another panelist, who was also noticeably uncomfortable with the prospect of nuclear Armageddon, pointed out that the United Kingdom “also has nuclear weapons” and that “when you propose the strike with the Sarmat, no one will survive in this war. Do you understand that no one will survive? No one on the planet.”
But that did not deter his pro-war compatriot.
“We’ll start with a blank slate,” he said.
“Never say never,” the woman added.
The grey-haired man then returned to listing the Sarmat’s advanced capabilities, including the short time it would take to reach cities like Berlin from Kaliningrad.
“Get a stopwatch. Count 200 seconds. That’s how you talk to them,” he said, referring to the West. “They don’t understand anything else.”
The Pentagon has brushed off Russia’s ongoing threats of nuclear war as “irresponsible” and counter-productive taunts.
“You’ve heard us say a number of times that that kind of rhetoric is very dangerous and unhelpful,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters after a 40-nation summit at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Tuesday. “Nobody wants to see a nuclear war happen. It’s a war where all sides lose, and so rattling sabers and … dangerous rhetoric is clearly unhelpful and something that we won’t engage it.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, has stated that the risk of nuclear war “should not be underestimated.”
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