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.’
The furious debate was made during a discussion about remarks made by James Heappey (pictured right), the UK Armed Forces Mininster, in which he said it was ‘legitimate’ for Ukraine to carry out attacks on Russian soil to disrupt supply chains
It comes as western nations continue to send supplies to Ukraine, such as these 155mm shells being loaded onto a C-17 aircraft at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware
Wrecked vehicles seen in Mariupol, which has been besieged by Russian troops and pro-Russian separatists for more than a month
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.’
The UK is supplying arms including the Starstreak missile system and Stormer vehicles to carry it, to Ukraine
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.
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. Pictured: Russian military vehicles take part in a rehearsal of Victory Day military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the end to World War 2, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia on April 28, 2022
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.
A Russian military source told the Telegraph: ‘The military are outraged that the blitz on Kyiv has failed.
‘People in the army are seeking payback for failures of the past and they want to go further in Ukraine.’
Earlier this week, the Russian military was said to be furious that Putin had downsized the invasion of Ukraine and called for a new escalation of the conflict.
Speaking on Friday, Mr Wallace said Putin may declare a new war against the world’s ‘Nazis’ at the victory day parade which sees Moscow mark the end of Russia’s involvement in the Second World War.
With Putin’s military having failed in their first wave of military objectives, Moscow has re-focused its efforts on seizing both the east and southern coast of Ukraine.
However, as in the first months of the invasion, Russian forces are being met with heavy Ukrainian resistance from Kyiv’s determined armies.
Russian serviceman carries a flag before a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia April 28, 2022
Some analysts had predicted that Putin wanted to be in a position where he could declare some form of victory on May 9. But with Russia’s victory day parade now less than two weeks away, that is looking less likely.
Instead, Mr Wallace told LBC Radio that Putin could use the occasion to declare a new war on who he would call the world’s Nazis to galvanise his populace in another push against the Ukrainian defenders.
‘I would not be surprised… that he is probably going to declare on May Day that “we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilise the Russian people”,’ Mr Wallace said on Friday morning.
While several countries, including the UK, mark VE Day – the anniversary of the allied victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War – on May 8, Russia marks the data on May 9 due to the time difference.
Mass graves and bodies of civilians mowed down in the streets have been uncovered in areas like Bucha (pictured) after the Russians were forced to retreat.
Ukrainian servicemen Nazar and Oleksii are seen in a trench, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues in a village in Donetsk region
The end of all combat actions came at 23:01 Central European Time on Tuesday May 8, 1945 – which was already May 9 in Soviet Bloc countries, including in Russia.
Mr Sherriff today said Russia was likely to double down on its approach to Ukraine, insisting to its people that it is the right approach.
He told BBC Radio 4: ‘The worst case is war with Russia. By gearing itself up for the worst case, it is most likely to deter Putin because ultimately Putin respects strength.’
It comes a week after Putin announced his regime’s latest nuclear-capable missile will be deployed as early as this autumn, saying it will ‘force those who try to threaten Russia to think twice’.
The Sarmat missile, or ‘Satan II’, is said to be the world’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of striking a target 11,200 miles away – meaning it could easily strike targets in the US and Europe.
A handout still image taken from handout video made available by the Russian Defence ministry press-service shows launch of the Russian new intercontinental ballistic missile ‘Sarmat’ on Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region, (800 km north of Moscow), Russia, 20 April 2022
The ‘Sarmat’ missile has unique characteristics that allow it to reliably overcome any existing and future anti-missile defense systems
Putin hailed the development of the missile, which was successfully test-fired earlier this week, ‘a big, significant event’ for Russia’s defense industry, saying the Sarmat will ‘ensure Russia’s security from external threats and make those who try to threaten our country with aggressive rhetoric think twice.’
‘The missile can break through all modern anti-missile defences,’ he declared.
‘There is nothing like this anywhere in the world, and won’t be for a long time.’
Western military experts said the Sarmat is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys – easily enough to wipe out territories the size of Britain or France in a single strike.
However, analysts believe the autumn target revealed by Putin and Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, is an ambitious one because Moscow reported its first test-launch only on Wednesday and more tests will be needed before the missile can be deployed.
Russia is deploying its Sarmat missile with a unit in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, about 1,860 miles east of Moscow
Russia has claimed its most potent nuclear missile, the 16,000mph hypersonic ‘Satan-2’, can destroy the UK
The test, after years of delays due to funding and technical issues, marks a show of strength by Russia at a time when the war in Ukraine has sent tensions with the US and its allies soaring to their highest levels since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
Rogozin said in an interview with Russian state TV that the missiles would be deployed with a unit in Uzhur, in the Krasnoyarsk region, about 3,000 km (1,860 miles) east of Moscow.
He said they would be placed at the same sites and in the same silos as the Soviet-era Voyevoda missiles they are replacing, something that would save ‘colossal resources and time’.
The launch of the ‘super-weapon’ was an historic event that would guarantee the security of Russia’s children and grandchildren for the next 30-40 years, Rogozin added.