Russian Lawmaker Says He Wished Kyiv Was Bombarded During Blinken Visit

A Russian politician has said on a Kremlin-backed television channel that he wished missiles had hit Kyiv while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in the Ukrainian capital.

During a visit by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, two Russian missiles struck a building in Kyiv's central Shevchenko district, injuring at least 10 people, according to Ukrainian officials.

Guterres said he was shocked by the blasts although he and his team were safe. Radio Liberty said that Vira Hyrych, who worked in its Kyiv bureau, was killed after a missile hit the building where she lived.

But Duma deputy Aleksey Zhuravlyov, who is chairman of the nationalist Rodina political party, expressed the wish that a similar strike had happened during another high-level diplomatic visit.

"I am pleased that stuff happened when the U.N. Secretary General arrived," Zhuravlyov told the Channel One program "60 Minutes" on Friday.

The program, which has been promoting fierce anti-Western rhetoric and acting as a bullhorn of Kremlin propaganda, has justified President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and often discussed the idea of war spreading into Europe and the rest of the world.

Host Evgeny Popov asked Zhuravlyov "do you remember what you wanted yesterday? That something would happen when [Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril] Petkov traveled there?"

Zhuravlyov replied: "Yes and also when [U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd] Austin was there together with Blinken. That's when it should have happened. But we don't know whether they were even in Kyiv. No one knows where they met, maybe [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky traveled to meet them."

Blinken and Austin met Zelensky last Sunday, becoming the first senior U.S. officials known to have visited Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.

Bulgaria's Petkov held talks with Zelensky in Kyiv on Thursday.

"At least this one walked around Kyiv," Zhuravlyov said over images of Petkov shaking Zelensky's hand, "those others didn't walk around, they met in some sort of bunker."

The video was shared by journalist and Russia watcher Julia Davis, who wrote: "Putin's mouthpieces on state TV expressed glee about Russia striking Kyiv with missiles at the time when UN Secretary-General @antonioguterres and @KirilPetkov were in Ukraine.

"One lawmaker wished the same would have happened for Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin during their trip."

Zhuravlyov, known for his hawkish views, suggested on another program on Thursday that Russia's latest Sarmat missile should target the U.K. because of its support for Ukraine.

When Russia test-fired the nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic, also known as Satan II, earlier this month, Vladimir Putin said it would make Moscow's foreign adversaries "think twice."

"That's how you talk to them," Zhuravlyov said, referring to using the missile, "they don't understand anything else."

Zelensky said on Friday the missile strikes took place "immediately after" he held talks with Guterres. "This says a lot about Russia's true attitude to global institutions, about the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the U.N. and everything that the organization represents," the leader said. "Therefore, it requires a strong response."

Antony Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Capitol Hill on April 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. Blinken recently traveled to Ukraine with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine.