By Chris Jewers For Mailonline 17:50 06 Jun 2022, updated 19:57 06 Jun 2022
Vladimir ‘s state television propagandists have unleashed a new rant about launching nuclear weapons in response to Western weapons being sent to Ukraine.
Vladimir Solovyov, also known as ‘Putin’s voice’, said Western deliveries of long-range weapons that could potentially strike into Russian territory means it is only a matter of time before breaks out between and the West.
‘Everything is moving in that direction,’ the host of the Russia1 sabre-rattling talk show ‘Evening Vladimir Solovyov’ told viewers and other pundits in the studio.
The escalating war in Ukraine – which began when Putin launched an invasion of the country on February 24 – meant ‘we’re descending into bloody pages of world history,’ Solovyov said, in a clip shared and translated by Russian Media Monitor.
‘I hope we’ll live through this,’ he said gravely on channel Russia1. ‘If everything keeps progressing the way it is, only a couple of mutants in Lake Baikai will survive. The rest will be destroyed in a massive nuclear strike.
‘Because if NATO decides they can place whatever they want on our borders, they’ll be sending more and more of American weapons to Ukraine, Ukraine will fire and end up hitting one of our nuclear power plants, and here we go,’ he continued, without referencing Russian forces attacking nuclear power stations in Ukraine.
‘The process will quickly become uncontrollable. Everyone will get more than they asked for. Bang! And there’s nothing left,’ he claimed.Vladimir Solovyov (pictured), also known as ‘Putin’s voice’, compared the war to being ‘like a comedy if people weren’t dying’The TV guests regularly take aim at NATO and said Western deliveries of long-range weapons that could potentially strike into Russian territory means it is only a matter of time before nuclear war breaks out between Russia and the WestVitaly Tretyakov, a political analyst, said he was ‘happy’ about the prospect of nuclear war breaking out, suggesting Russia was destined for such a catastrophe
The United States has ruled out sending its own or NATO forces to Ukraine but Washington and Britain have agreed to supply precision missile systems which have significantly longer ranges than previous weapons they delivered.
Washington is supplying Ukraine with M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, and Britain will supply M270 multiple-launch systems.
The Russian president placed Moscow’s nuclear forces on high alert shortly after his began February 24, raising fears he could press the button as the war in Ukraine continues to go against him.
And amid increasing Western support to Ukraine, Putin has made thinly veiled threats hinting at a willingness to deploy Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons, which Russian military doctrine holds can be used to force an adversary to retreat.
However, the Kremlin has maintained that Russia would only resort to using larger nuclear weapons if it faces an existential threat.
The Russia1 propagandists appeared to consider the delivery of western long-range weapons to be an example of such an existential threat that would justify their use, and seemed to accept the prospect of destruction in a nuclear war.
Vitaly Tretyakov, a political analyst, said he was ‘happy’ about the prospect of nuclear war breaking out, suggesting Russia was destined for such a catastrophe.
‘Yes, we should be happy,’ he said, ‘except the young people may not share this definition of happiness. We’ve finally arrived. This is our last and decisive battle.’
Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russia Today, replied: ‘I don’t see any cause for happiness, but I also don’t see any other choice. If there will be deliveries of such weapons that could read into our territory, although they say they promised not to do it. Yeah, don’t make me laugh.
‘We’ve been living with them for years, we know better than you what will happen,’ she said. ‘We’ll be forced to respond, because our people wouldn’t understand if we didn’t. Our boss, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is not the kind of person to put up with this. Frightening escalation awaits us.
‘They’re provoking us again, forgetting the lessons of history that we should not be provoked. You can poke a hibernating bear with a branch, you’re poking him, poking him, poking him, then he wakes up and ‘Whap!” she said, clapping her hands.Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russia Today (pictured), said ‘I don’t see any other choice’ when talking about Russia using nuclear weapons
Russia has increasingly resorted to nuclear sabre-rattling as the war in Ukraine has stumbled, with state media issuing almost daily threats.
The same show on Russia1 has previously warned that Russian nuclear weapons could wipe out the UK in a ‘nuclear tidal wave’, and has also brazenly simulated how Putin would launch a nuclear strike on three capital cities in Europe.
As Russian troops were building up on Ukraine’s borders before the invasion began, Russia blamed NATO expansion for its increasingly aggressive activities.
And since the start of its invasion, which it calls a ‘special military operation’, Russia has repeatedly said it aims to clear Ukraine of ‘Nazis’.
Kyiv and its Western backers say such claims are fiction and that Ukraine is fighting for its survival against an imperial-style land grab.
President Vladimir Putin warned the United States in an interview broadcast on Sunday that Russia would strike new targets if the West supplied longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.
Warning was made by Russia despite Russia’s own missiles striking deep into Ukrainian territory. On Sunday, Russia hit targets in Kyiv using long-range missiles fired from the Caspian Sea region, over 850 miles away.
The range of the missile systems being sent to Ukraine to help Kyiv fight against the Russian invasion depends on the munitions used in them.
HIMARS systems have a maximum range of 185 miles or more but the missiles supplied by the United States have a range of just over 40 miles – double the range of the howitzers it supplied.Pictured: Smoke rises over Kyiv on Sunday after Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital
Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that Ukrainian forces are ‘holding out’ against Moscow’s troops in the eastern city of Severodonetsk but are outnumbered by a ‘stronger’ Russian side.
‘We’re holding out’ but ‘there are more of them and they are stronger,’ he told journalists in Kyiv, adding that Severodonetsk and neighbouring Lysychansk were both ‘dead cities now’.
In the Sunday airstrikes on Kyiv, one person was reported hospitalised. Dark smoke could be seen from many miles away after the attack on two outlying districts.
Ukraine said the strike hit a rail car repair works, while Moscow said it had destroyed tanks sent by Eastern European countries to Ukraine.
Ukraine said Russia had carried out the Kyiv strike using long-range air-launched missiles fired from heavy bombers as far away as the Caspian Sea.
Russia says the strikes are part of a campaign to degrade Ukraine’s military infrastructure and block Western arms shipments.
Putin warned the United States on Sunday that Russia would strike new targets if the West supplied longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.
Britain said on Monday it would supply Ukraine with multiple-launch rocket systems that can strike targets up to 50 miles away, a move that was coordinated with the United States in response to Russia’s invasion.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting continues in Sievierodonetsk and Russian forces are pushing towards Sloviansk, which lies about 53 miles to the west, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said on Monday.
Both sides say they have inflicted huge casualties in Sievierodonetsk.
In Lysychansk, Russian forces fired on a bakery and several administrative and residential buildings, Gaidai said on Monday, adding one civilian had been wounded.
Evacuations resumed from the Ukrainian-held part of Luhansk province on Sunday, and 98 people had escaped, Gaidai said.
The governor of Russia’s western Kursk region, Roman Starovoit, said the border village of Tyotkino had come under fire from Ukraine on Monday morning that targeted a bridge and some businesses.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Ukraine’s military reported that its forces repelled seven attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Sunday, destroying four tanks and shooting down a combat helicopter. It was not immediately possible to verify the battlefield reports.
Russia invaded Ukraine in the early hours of February 24, setting off the worst conflict in Europe in decades.
As Russia extends its grip over the east, we look back on 100 days of fighting that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and reduced entire cities to rubble.
February 24: Russia invades – Russian President Vladimir Putin announces a ‘special military operation’ to ‘demilitarise’ and ‘de-Nazify’ the former Soviet state and protect Russian speakers there.
A full-scale invasion starts with air and missile strikes on several cities. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledges to stay in Kyiv to lead the resistance.
February 26: Massive sanctions – West adopts unprecedented sanctions against Russia and offers Ukraine military aid.
Air spaces are closed to Russian aircraft and Russia is kicked out of sporting and cultural events.
February 27: Nuclear threat – Putin puts Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert, in what is seen as a warning to the West not to intervene in Ukraine.
February 28: First talks – During the first peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow, Russia demands recognition of its sovereignty over Crimea, the ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘de-Nazification’ of Ukraine and a guarantee Ukraine will never join NATO. Ukraine demands a complete Russian withdrawal.
March 3: Kherson falls – Russian troops attack Ukraine’s south coast to try to link up territory held by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine with the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula.
On March 3, Kherson in the south becomes the first city to fall. Russian forces relentlessly shell the port of Mariupol.
March 4: Media crackdown – Russia passes a law punishing what it calls ‘fake news’ about its offensive – such as referring to its ‘special military operation’ as an invasion – with up to 15 years in prison.
March 16: Mariupol theatre razed – Russian air strikes raze a Mariupol theatre killing an estimated 300 people sheltering inside. Moscow blames the attack on Ukraine’s nationalist Azov battalion.
March 16: Zelensky lobbies Congress – Zelensky tells the US Congress to ‘remember Pearl Harbor’ and lobbies Western parliaments for more help.
April 2-3: Horror in Bucha – After a month of fighting, Russia withdraws from northern Ukraine, announcing it will focus its efforts on conquering the eastern Donbas region.
On April 2 and 3, Ukrainians find dozens of corpses of civilians scattered on the street or buried in shallow graves in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, which Russian forces had occupied.
Moscow dismisses accusations of Russian war crimes, saying the images of the bodies are fakes.
April 8: Train station carnage – A rocket attack on a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk kills at least 57 civilians being evacuated from Donbas.
April 12: Biden speaks of ‘genocide’ – Biden accuses Russia of ‘genocide’, saying Putin appears intent on ‘trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be a Ukrainian’.
April 14: Flagship sinks – Ukrainian missiles hit and sink Russia’s missile cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea, a major setback for Moscow.
May 11: $40 billion in US aid – US lawmakers back a huge $40-billion package of military, economic and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
May 16: Kharkiv retreat – Ukraine says its troops have driven Russian forces back from the outskirts of the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, to the Russian border.
May 18: Sweden, Finland apply to NATO – Finland and Sweden apply to join NATO, reversing decades of military non-alignment because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
May 23: First war crimes conviction – A Ukrainian court finds a 21-year-old Russian soldier guilty of war crimes and hands down a life sentence for shooting dead a 62-year-old civilian in northeastern Ukraine in the opening days of the war. He has appealed.
May 21: Battle for Mariupol ends – Russia declares it is in full control of Mariupol after Ukraine ordered troops holding out for weeks in the Azovstal steelworks to lay down their arms to save their lives.
Nearly 2,500 soldiers surrender and are taken prisoner by Russia.
May 30: EU bans most Russian oil – EU leaders overcome resistance from Hungary to agree a partial ban on most Russian oil imports as part of a sixth wave of sanctions.
The deal bans oil imports delivered by tanker but allows landlocked countries such as Hungary to continue receiving Russian oil by pipeline.
May 31: Russia seizes part of eastern city – Russian troops seize part of the key eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, its governor says. Taking the city would give Russia de-facto control over Lugansk, one of two regions that make up the Donbas, Ukraine’s industrial heartland.
July 3: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its 100th day. Britain’s defence ministry said Moscow has failed to achieve its initial objectives to seize Kyiv and centres of government but is achieving tactical success in the Donbas.
Reporting by AFP