Vladimir Putin’s ‘propagandist-in-chief’ has threatened the West with nuclear destruction just hours after the Russian leader put his deterrent forces on ‘alert’.
Speaking on nation-wide TV amid a frenzy of anti-Western rhetoric, TV anchor Dmitry Kiselyov told viewers: ‘Our submarines can shoot more than 500 nuclear warheads.
‘This would guarantee destruction of the USA, and all other NATO countries.
TV anchor Dmitry Kiselyov has threatened the West with nuclear destruction just hours after the Russian leader put his deterrent forces on ‘alert’
‘In accordance with the principle “Why do we need the world, if Russia isn’t there?”
‘Russia’s nuclear arms are delivered by the world’s fastest strategic bombers.
‘That’s without even mentioning Russian Strategic Missile Forces. The Russian nuclear potential is the strongest in the world.
‘Today our Russian Nuclear Triad is on the high alert. Putin did warn [the West]. Do not try to scare Russia.’
In his Vesti Nedeli weekly news show on state-run Rossiya 1 channel aired across Russia’s 11 time zones, he blamed Liz Truss for seeking to ‘intimidate’ Russia.
In his Vesti Nedeli weekly news show on state-run Rossiya 1 channel aired across Russia’s 11 time zones, Kiselyov blamed Liz Truss for seeking to ‘intimidate’ Russia
His comments come after Putin ordered troops operating the nuclear deterrent onto a ‘special regime of duty’
Kiselyov chided the foreign secretary for reportedly saying a conflict between Russia and NATO could emerge from the crescent Ukrainian crisis.
‘A conflict between Russia and NATO over Ukraine – nothing like this has been said before,’ he said.
But Russia’s nuclear capability with new-age ‘superweapons’ like ‘hypersonic Tsirkon’ were more than a match for the West’s capability, he said.
The threats are part of a media offensive from the Kremlin in which Ukraine’s fighters are painted as Nazis and Russia is viewed as a liberating force.
Dmitry Kiselev, one of the Kremlin’s most venomous TV propagandists, accused German chancellor Olaf Scholz of ‘solidarity with the genocide of today’ that Kiselev, parroting Putin, claimed was being perpetrated against Russian-speakers in Ukraine.
Meanwhile Russian state TV talk show host Olga Skabeyeva said:’You know, as they retreat, the Ukrainian Nazis continue to destroy Donbas.
‘Today Zhelobok was shelled with Grad multiple rocket launchers. Yesterday the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched Tochka ballistic missiles at an oil facility.’
The propaganda has led many Russians to be convinced that the conflict was provoked by the West.
The threats are part of a media offensive from the Kremlin in which Ukraine’s fighters are painted as Nazis and Russia is viewed as a liberating force
‘Nato pushed us into this war,’ said Vladimir Butyrkin, 61, a retired trucker.
‘We are a peaceful people. Nobody in Russia wanted this. The Ukrainians are our brothers – but sometimes you need to correct your brothers when they get stupid ideas in their heads.’
Younger, tech-savvy Russians who access independent news are more likely to be critical of Putin and his invasion, but the Kremlin has responded by shutting Facebook down.
Now the cyber security team at Meta – parent of Facebook and Instagram – has blocked a set of pro-Russian fake accounts and hacked social media profiles that were part of a scheme to undermine Ukraine, the tech giant said Sunday.
The accounts were conducting a campaign of misinformation, pushing content supporting Russian activities and painting Ukraine as a pawn of the West, according to a Meta statement.
‘They ran websites posing as independent news entities and created fake personas across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and also Odnoklassniki and VK (Russian social media networks),’ Meta said in a blog post.
In some cases, ‘they used profile pictures that we believe were likely generated using artificial intelligence techniques.’
The small network of Facebook and Instagram accounts targeted people in Ukraine, using posts to try to get people to visit websites featuring bogus news about the country’s effort to defend itself from the invasion by Russia.
It comes after Putin ordered troops operating the nuclear deterrent onto a ‘special regime of duty’ in light of ‘aggressive statements’ from NATO leaders and ‘unfriendly economic actions’.
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg responded: ‘This is dangerous rhetoric’.
Citing ‘aggressive statements’ by NATO and tough financial sanctions, Putin issued a directive to increase the readiness of Russia’s nuclear weapons, raising fears that the invasion of Ukraine could lead to nuclear war, whether by design or mistake.
A damaged military vehicle is pictured on the outskirt of Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine
Putin issued a directive to increase the readiness of Russia’s nuclear weapons
A satellite image made available by Maxar Technologies shows a large convoy of Russian ground forces in convoy near Ivankiv, Ukraine
The Russian leader is ‘potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,’ said a senior US defence official.
Russia has the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons and a huge cache of ballistic missiles.
The US, the world’s second largest nuclear power, slammed Putin’s order as ‘totally unacceptable’.
Germany said Putin’s nuclear order was because his offensive had ‘halted’ and was not going to plan.
Putin’s directive came as Russian forces encountered strong opposition from Ukraine defenders.
Moscow has so far failed to win full control of Ukraine’s airspace, despite advances across the country.
Ukrainian servicemen patrol during a curfew as Russian forces continue to advance on the third day in Kyiv
Citizens of Kyiv have resorted to arming themselves amid fears of an imminent invasion by Russian troops. (Pictured: satellite image showing Russian army heading to the capital of Ukraine)
US officials say they believe the invasion has been more difficult, and slower, than the Kremlin envisioned, though that could change as Moscow adapts.
The conflict – seemingly more quiet overnight Sunday than in past nights – could evolve significantly if Russia gets military help from neighbouring Belarus, which is expected to send troops into Ukraine as soon as today, according to a senior US official.
The source said that whether Belarus enters the war depends on Ukraine-Russia talks set to happen in coming days.
Amid the mounting pressure, Western nations said they would tighten sanctions and buy and deliver weapons for Ukraine, including Stinger missiles for shooting down helicopters and other aircraft.
European countries will also supply fighter jets to Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, has confirmed a meeting with a Russian delegation at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the meeting would take place, nor what the Kremlin was ultimately seeking, either in those potential talks on the border or, more broadly, from its war in Ukraine.
Western officials believe Putin wants to overthrow Ukraine’s government and replace it with a regime of his own, reviving Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.