Russian state TV has brazenly simulated how Vladimir Putin would launch a nuclear strike on three capital cities in Europe, declaring there would be ‘no survivors’, in response to comments made by the UK’s Armed Forces Minister supporting Ukrainian strikes on Russian infrastructure.
Hosts on Channel One’s 60 Minutes programme announced the cities of London, Paris and Berlin could be hit within 200 seconds of nuclear missiles being launched, as tensions ramp up amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
It comes as ex-Nato chief Richard Sherriff warned the West must ‘gear itself up’ for a ‘worst case scenario’ war with Russia in Ukraine, amid reports the Russian president could use the country’s victory day parade on May 9 to declare ‘all-out war’ on its neighbour.
On Thursday’s show the chairman of the nationalist Rodina party, Aleksey Zhuravlyov, pondered what would happen if Russia launched nuclear weapons against the UK, saying: ‘one Sarmat missile and the British Isles will be no more.’
When pulled up on the comment by one of the hosts, he insisted he was ‘saying this seriously’, while another host added that the UK has nuclear weapons too and that ‘no one will survive in this war’.
Producers on the show then showed viewers a map seeming to suggest missiles could be launched from Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea.
It suggested these could reach Berlin in 106 seconds, Paris in 200 seconds and London in 202 seconds.
It comes as the UK and other western nations continue in their support for Ukraine, with allies providing equipment, military vehicles and weapons to the beleaguered country.
In response to the western support of Ukraine, war-mongering Putin ordered the military to test-fire its Sarmat missiles, which are also known as Satan II.
Last week Putin bragged that his country’s hypersonic missiles could ‘break through all modern defences’ and could be ready to strike the UK ‘by autumn’.
The alarming remarks were made on the show, which is one of Russia’s most watched TV programmes, while hosts and guests discussed comments made by James Heappey, the Armed Forces Minister, in which he said strikes by Ukraine on Russian soil would be ‘legitimate’ if they disrupted supply lines.
The show has been hosted by wife and husband Olga Skabeyeva and Evgeny Popov, who are married with each other, since September 2016, and is one of Russia’s most watched programmes.
On the show a furious Zhuravlyov said: ‘One Sarmat [missile] and that’s it – the British Isles are no more.’
When Skabeyeva, who has been nicknamed the ‘Iron Doll of Putin TV’ for her criticism of opposition parties cautioned ‘but we are serious people’, the politician hit back ‘and I am saying that seriously’.
‘They’re accusing us of state terrorism’, he fumed, prompting Popov to say ‘the UK also has nuclear weapons’.
Popov added: ‘No one will survive in this war when you propose the strike with a Sarmat. Do you understand that no one will survive? No one on the planet.’
Zhuravlyov doubled down, declaring ‘we’ll start with a blank slate’, before saying the missiles ‘can’t be intercepted’.
‘Their abilities are limited. They say they can shoot it down, we’ll see about that,’ he added.
A map showing the how quickly the missiles could hit the capital cities of the UK, France and Germany was then put on the screen by the producers, indicating the missiles could be launched from Kaliningrad.
Skabeyeva urged caution, saying: ‘Sarmats are not in Kalinigrad yet. From Kaliningrad to Berlin is 106 seconds, from Kaliningrad to Paris is 200 second. You’re interested in London, 202 seconds to London.’
An incandescent Zhuravlyov continued: ‘They need to be shown this picture. “Guys look at this picture – count the seconds, can you make it? Hello, it’s already here”.’
As Popov struggles to contain his laughter, Zhuravlyov says: ‘That’s the way. Let them think about it. Get a stopwatch, count (to) 220 seconds. That’s how you talk to them, they don’t understand anything else.’
The tirade came after Mr Heappey told Times Radio it is ‘completely legitimate’ for Ukraine to launch attacks on Russian soil.
He said: ‘It is completely legitimate for Ukraine to be targeting in Russia’s depth in order to disrupt the logistics that if they weren’t disrupted would directly contribute to death and carnage on Ukrainian soil.
‘There are lots of countries around the world that operate kit that they have imported from other countries; when those bits of kit are used we tend not to blame the country that manufactured it, you blame the country that fired it.’
It is not the first time Zhuravlyov has come to public attention for his comments on the show – in December last year he called for United States Congressman Ruben Gallego to be kidnapped and jailed for his support of arming and training the Ukrainian military.
A month later he claimed Russia should put nuclear weapons in Cuba and Venezuala as a response to military aid from Nato given to Ukraine and Georgia.
He is chairman of the Rodina political party, a far right nationalist party, which supports Vladimir Putin in the State Duma.
In a tweet sharing the video with a western audience, Julia Davies, creator of Russian Media Monitor, said: ‘Russian TV keeps threatening nuclear strikes against Western nations, desperately trying to deter them from continuing to help Ukraine.
‘On a side note, this is the first state TV host who doesn’t seem to be eager to die for the Motherland, arguing with a trigger-happy lawmaker.’
It has been reported Putin is set to declare ‘all-out war’ on Ukraine ‘within days’ to enable the country to launch a general mobilisation of the population, according to Russian sources and Western officials.
Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that the Russian president might use Russia’s victory day parade on May 9 to announce the mass mobilisation of his reserves for a final push in Ukraine.