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With overtones of the mutually assured destruction doctrine from the Cold War era, a fatalistic, saber-rattling Russian state TV anchor reportedly wondered if there is any meaning to a world that does not include Russia.
Against the backdrop of global condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, presenter Dmitry Kiselyov (or Kiselev) ominously boasted about his country’s arsenal of nukes, per a translation, in what perhaps sounds like a threat or a form of intimidation.
In the meantime, a U.S. congressman claims Russia, despite its weaponry, is a mere “paper tiger.”
According to the Russian presenter, “Our submarines alone can launch more than 500 nuclear warheads, which guarantees the destruction of the US and NATO for good measure. The principle is: why do we need the world if Russia won’t be in it?.”
Kiselyov reportedly added that “Russia’s nuclear capability is the most powerful in the world” and that “Now, Russia’s entire nuclear triad has been placed on special alert. [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin warned them. Don’t try to frighten Russia.”
Russian state TV: “Our submarines alone can launch more than 500 nuclear warheads, which guarantees the destruction of the US and NATO for good measure. The principle is: why do we need the world if Russia won’t be in it?” https://t.co/hvYkhz9DpE
— max seddon (@maxseddon) February 27, 2022
Back in 2013, The Economist opined that “Even by the standards of Soviet television, the Russia Channel has been churning out propaganda that would have made their Soviet predecessors blush.”
The presenter’s remarks prompted extensive commentary on Twitter of all kinds:
Ok that’s terrifying
— Erik Groset (@ErikGroset) February 27, 2022
If they felt this way in reality, they wouldn’t be saying this on national TV
— Russian Palace Princess 🇺🇦🇺🇲#STANDWITHUKRAINE (@GRomePow) February 27, 2022
This is the exact kind of rhetoric that can lead to further escalation. Russia needs to back down and deescalate at once.
— Alex Cimitile (@AlexCimitile) February 27, 2022
I think he was told to scare people.
The idea is that if state TV + upping nuclear readiness scares the public, maybe they’ll forget that the Ukraine war is going badly.
This would be a scare tactic all the way from Putin.
— cafealpha (@Cafe_alpha2) February 28, 2022
As the Russian anchorman may have been referencing, however, Putin has reportedly ordered his nuclear forces put on high alert known as “special regime of combat duty.”
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claimed that Putin is currently operating in an erratic, delusional manner which, if accurate, is hardly a good omen for resolving the crisis without further bloodshed.
Condoleezza Rice concerned ‘erratic’ Putin could be ‘descending into something’ she’s never encountered https://t.co/a1pwq7wsCr
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) February 27, 2022
On a more positive note, Ukraine and Russia have begun peace talks in neighboring Belarus.
Owing to the U.S. dependence on oil imports from Russia and elsewhere under the Biden administration, critics claim that America is helping fund Putin’s war machine.
As alluded to above, Jan. 6 Committee pawn Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) took to Twitter, not only to use paper tiger language, but he seemed to advocate for calling Putin’s bluff about the threat of nuke deployment.
He quote-tweeted Louise Mensch, a writer who has been accused of pushing Russiagate-related conspiracy theories, in the process.
This breathlessness over nukes is mind blowing. We used to call his bluff.
This is the Soviet Cold War play to make the public fear Russia. https://t.co/uS3f4jUyV4
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) February 27, 2022
Some social media users are finding Kinzinger’s dismissiveness of Russia’s capabilities unconvincing. Here is a sample:
Uh, they have the most nuclear weapons in the world. Hell of a paper Tiger
— SauceBawse (@DWaibs) February 27, 2022
6,000 nukes. The world is terrified. How about we park the rhetoric?
— Common Sense Ⓥ (@ComeOnSense1) February 27, 2022
These people spent years telling us Putin and Russia were the greatest threat in the world. pic.twitter.com/DkN021g3VB
— David Reaboi, Late Republic Nonsense (@davereaboi) February 27, 2022
Kinzinger believes mutually assured destruction was just a bluff and not doctrine that ruled the post-WW2 order? https://t.co/6QCmmwu53Y
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) February 27, 2022
I hope no one in power thinks like Kinzinger. https://t.co/OCHdwqLh6z
— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) February 27, 2022
Approvingly QTing Mensch marks a particular moment when one should take a step back and do some self-reflection.
— Jeff Dobbs (@deff_jobbs) February 27, 2022
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